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US madman tactic against Iran futile: Shamkhani

Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani says the tactic of instilling fear in the international community of decisions made by a madman in the United States is hackneyed and will bear no fruit.

“The US ruling administration is in global isolation due to unwise decisions and repeated mistakes,” Shamkhani said in a meeting with the Speaker of People’s Council of Syria Hammouda Youssef Sabbagh in Tehran on Monday.

He criticized US President Donald Trump’s remarks about Washington’s possible withdrawal from the 2015 multilateral nuclear agreement and the need to make changes to its text.

The Iranian official emphasized that such a propaganda campaign was aimed at spreading Iranophobia and preventing the Islamic Republic from enjoying the economic benefits of the nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The US president on January 12 reluctantly agreed to waive sanctions against Iran that were lifted as part of the JCPOA, but said it would be the last time he issued such a waiver unless his conditions were met.

Trump once again threatened to withdraw from the nuclear deal if some “disastrous flaws” were not fixed, saying that he wanted America’s European allies to use the 120-day period before sanctions relief again came up for renewal to agree to tougher measures and new conditions; otherwise Washington would pull out of the deal.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif slammed Trump’s announcement on Iran’s nuclear sanctions waiver as a “desperate attempt” to undermine the deal.

He responded on Twitter that the deal was not renegotiable and that Trump’s stance “amounts to desperate attempts to undermine a solid multilateral agreement.”

Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China – plus Germany signed the nuclear agreement on July 14, 2015 and started implementing it on January 16, 2016.

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