US not looking to reopen Iran nuclear deal: envoy

US not looking to reopen Iran nuclear deal: envoy
An American nuclear non-proliferation envoy suggested that the US is not looking to reopen the Iran deal, but draft a supplemental agreement.
2 min read
26 April, 2018
Trump meeting with Congress members [Getty]
The US hopes to remain in the Iran nuclear deal, preferring to fix its flaws rather than reopen the accord, said US non-proliferation envoy Christopher Ford.

"We are not aiming to renegotiate the JCPOA (nuclear deal) or reopen it or change its terms," Ford told reporters at a nuclear non-proliferation conference in Geneva.

"We are seeking a supplemental agreement that would in some fashion layer upon it a series of additional rules - restrictions, terms, parameters, whatever you want to call it - that help answer these challenges more effectively."

Ford's statement is a sharp departure from US President Donald Trump's rhetoric, who has repeatedly threatened to tear up what he calls the "terrible" nuclear agreement.

"People know my views on the Iran deal. It was a terrible deal. It should have never ever been made," Trump railed on Tuesday.

The same day, US President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron said they would find stronger measures to limit Iran's activities. However, Trump threatened to retaliate if Tehran restarts its nuclear programme.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday criticised US and European discussions over the landmark 2015 nuclear pact, singling out Trump as a "tradesman" who lacked the qualifications to deal with the complex agreement.

"You don't have any background in politics. You don't have any background in law. You don't have any background on international treaties," he added.

A day earlier, Rouhani said there would be "severe consequences" if Washington pulls out of the nuclear deal signed in 2015 with world powers. 

Macron is currently wrapping up a three-day trip to Washington that in large part is focusing on preserving the Iran nuclear deal.

The French leader told US media late on Wednesay that while he does not know specifically what Trump will decide, he believes the US leader "will get rid of this deal on his own, for domestic reasons".

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