President Hassan Rouhani said Iran will remain committed to its obligations under the 2015 nuclear deal with six world powers as long as the country benefits from the agreement.
“As it has repeatedly declared, Iran will never be the first country to withdraw from the nuclear deal. We are committed to the JCPOA as long as we can enjoy the benefits mentioned in it,”
President Rouhani told the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yukiya Amano, in Tehran, using the acronym for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
He stressed that the IAEA is the only competent entity to confirm Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA, urging the UN nuclear agency to remain impartial in its evaluations.
Rouhani said Iran is determined to work with the IAEA over the long run. “Based on Iran’s full cooperation in recent years, we hope that the agency will declare the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program as soon as possible.”
The Iranian president rejected as “unacceptable” attempts by the United States to exert influence on the work of the IAEA.
“A country that has signed an international and multilateral agreement does not have the right to deal with it in whatever way it likes”, Rouhani said.
Iran to build more missiles
Before meeting with Amano, Rouhani told an open session of Iran’s Parliament that US calls to renegotiate the JCPOA are “ridiculous,” vowing that Iran will continue to produce missiles for its defense.
The US House of Representatives on Thursday voted to impose new sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missile program, while Senators urged a vigorous push for tougher inspections of Iran’s military facilities.
“They are faulting us over our weapons. We will build, produce and stockpile any weapons of any kind that we need in order to defend ourselves and the territorial integrity of our beloved country,” Rouhani said in a speech in Parliament on Sunday.
“We have built, are building, and will continue to build missiles, and this violates no international agreements,” the president added to chants of “Death to America” by lawmakers.
The missile program is not technically part of the nuclear agreement, with the US admitting that Iran’s missile tests do not violate the terms of the deal between Tehran and six major powers.
Washington’s new sanctions, however, have undermined the nuclear agreement which US President Donald Trump refused to certify this month after certifying it twice before.
Rouhani rebuked “repeated breaches” by the US government of its commitments, saying it has put the country’s credibility at stake.
Washington has been pushing for a renegotiation of the 2015 nuclear deal so that it includes a broader range of issues such as Iran’s missile program.
Rouhani said the US is in fact declaring that it is not a negotiating partner and knows no moral and international principles.
“Can this country tell other East Asian countries to negotiate with it? How do you talk about negotiations when you have not been committed to your previous negotiations with Iran? You have become untrustworthy before the world.”
At the meeting with Rouhani, Amano said the future of the nuclear deal strongly depends on the commitments of all parties to the agreement.
Press TV contributed to this story.