Al-Monitor – Iran has shrugged off US President Donald Trump’s attempt to engage the Islamic Republic into new talks with his administration for a “big deal” by renegotiating the nuclear accord signed during the term of his predecessor, Barack Obama.
Trump made the offer after the two sides implemented their latest prisoner swap deal June 4. The US president expressed his gratitude to the Iranian side for releasing US Navy veteran Michael White in an exchange that also saw Iranian Dr. Majid Taheri freed from US custody.
“Don’t wait until after US Election … I’m going to win. You’ll make a better deal now!” Trump tweeted, once again suggesting that the Obama-era agreement, which he has slammed as the worst deal in US history and scrapped in 2018, needs to be restructured from scratch.
In response, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, the architect of the original nuclear deal — known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — made it clear that the Iranian position remains unchanged. Zarif threw the ball into Trump’s court to “fix” the accord by reinstating rather than renegotiating it. “We had a deal when you entered office. … Your advisors — most fired by now — made a dumb bet.” The top Iranian diplomat also stressed that the prisoner swap was a humanitarian deal achieved despite efforts by Trump’s “subordinates” to block it.
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