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Scrapping Iran’s nuclear deal not in US interest: Majlis speaker

Iran’s Majlis (parliament) Speaker Ali Larijani has said the US president’s empty “rhetoric” against the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers, noting that the idea of scrapping the deal is not in Washington’s interest.

Speaking at a Thursday press conference in the South Korean capital city of Seoul, Larijani said, “The nuclear deal is an international agreement. Iran has agreed with the P5+1 (group of world powers) at the international level and [the deal] has been passed by the [UN] Security Council.”

During his presidential campaign, US President Donald Trump had promised to ditch the nuclear accord which he referred to as a “disaster” and “the worst deal ever negotiated.”

“The nuclear agreement incorporates a dispute resolution mechanism. If anybody has an objection, they should act accordingly. Scrapping the deal is not in the interest of the Americans and such a statement is mere rhetoric, which may be aimed at pushing their own economic rivals out of the field,” Larijani said.

Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China – plus Germany signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear program in July 2015 and started implementing it in January 2016.

Under the JCPOA, Iran undertook to put limitations on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions imposed against Tehran.

The former US administration officials have assured the Congress that the JCPOA would not affect the existing non-nuclear sanctions against Iran, but they strongly advised the US legislators against imposing any new non-nuclear sanction against Tehran, arguing that new bans may jeopardize the nuclear deal.

However, Washington has so far slapped two rounds of sanctions on Iran under the new US administration over the country’s missile work.

On June 15, the US Senate passed a sanctions bill by an overwhelming margin against Iran’s ballistic missile program and the country’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) over allegations of support for terrorism.

The legislation needs the approval of the House of Representatives before being endorsed by President Trump.