Russia’s Lavrov Rejects Idea of Renegotiating Iran Nuclear Deal

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday dismissed the notion of renegotiating the agreement curbing Iran’s nuclear weapons development, maintaining U.S. concerns about Iran are beyond the scope of the deal.

“This program is already finalized and endorsed by the U.N. Security Council resolution. Opening up this plan for negotiations basically would be disregarding this agreement,” Lavrov told reporters at the U.N. General Assembly.

U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to declare Iran in violation of the 2015 agreement unless it is broadened to punish Iran for pursuing a ballistic missile program and for supporting militant groups.

On Thursday, Trump’s national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, refused to disclose whether Trump had decided to withdraw the United States from the international pact, but said the decision would be part of a broad U.S. strategy toward Iran.

While McMaster declined to offer insight into the decision, he acknowledged it was “accurate” that Trump is keen on renegotiating parts of the agreement pertaining to its expiration and Iran’s ballistic missile programs.

Trump told reporters Wednesday at the General Assembly that he had made a decision, but he declined to elaborate. “I’ll let you know,” he said.

On Tuesday, Trump disparaged the deal at the General Assembly, calling it one of the worst transactions the U.S. has ever entered into. It was negotiated during the administration of his predecessor, Barack Obama. Its provisions keep Tehran from developing nuclear weapons in exchange for lifting heavy economic sanctions.

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