US President Donald Trump said on Friday he will extend sanctions relief on Iran under the 2015 nuclear deal for the last time, threatening a US withdrawal from the landmark pact unless US Congress and European allies can fix the alleged "disastrous flaws".
But Trump argues that his predecessor Barack Obama gave away too much to Iran in sanctions relief, without forcing the Islamic republic to end its ballistic missile program and support for militant groups.
The Iranian statement said the targeting of one of the officials, judiciary chief Sadegh Amoli Larijani, "crossed all behavioral red lines of the global community".
"I hereby call on key European countries to join with the United States in fixing significant flaws in the deal, countering Iranian aggression, and supporting the Iranian people", Trump said in the statement.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif responded on Twitter that the deal was not renegotiable and that Trump's stance "amounts to desperate attempts to undermine a solid multilateral agreement". JCPOA is not renegotiable: "rather than repeating exhausted rhetoric, USA must bring itself into full compliance-just like Iran", he wrote. "And if at any time I judge that such an agreement is not within reach, I will withdraw from the deal immediately". The new legislation also limits Trump's own ability to lift any sanctions against Russian Federation. But his explicit warning to Europe that the deal must be fixed by the time the next sanctions waivers are due in the spring creates a high-stakes diplomatic deadline that will be hard to meet. Brokered and signed by the US, UK, Russia, France, China, and Germany, the JCPOA places limitations on Iran's nuclear energy program in return for the lifting of economic sanctions on Tehran.
Trump had threatened in October to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal unless its defects were corrected, either through negotiations with other signatories of the pact or unilaterally by the US Congress.More news: African ambassadors condemn Trump remarks as 'racist'
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The EU said it would hold internal consultations and was "committed to the continued full and effective implementation" of the deal.
A new round of United States sanctions expected against Moscow is an attempt to influence Russia's domestic affairs ahead of a presidential election, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted as saying on Saturday (Jan 13).
The British and German foreign ministries said they had taken note of the decision and would confer with France before deciding on a course of action.
Trump will next have to deal with these decisions in mid-May.
The deal would help uphold the worldwide non-proliferation regime, maintain regional peace and stability and solve "other hot issues" around the world, he said.