Iran rejects Trump's call for changes to nuclear deal

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Kaveh Afrasiabi says it is a win-win.

Under the deal, Iran allows strict limits on its nuclear program in return for easing of economic sanctions.

Trump also wants the U.S. Congress to modify a law that reviews U.S. participation in the nuclear deal to include "trigger points" that if violated would lead to the United States reimposing its sanctions, the official said.

A senior fellow for Middle East Studies at the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations, Ray Takeyh, said Trump is attempting a hard balancing act between supporting allies who want to preserve the accord and intelligence estimates of Iran's destabilizing role in the Middle East.

Trump might not get much help on the deal from Congress either.

Trump had lengthy discussions on Thursday with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, national security adviser H.R. McMaster and others about the deal, which was reached during the presidency of Democrat Barack Obama. But in the rest of the world, where there were still waverers who detected some method in Trump's madness, the conviction is gelling that, as a spreader of chaos, Trump is unsurpassed and is more risky to the worldwide peace than anything to be found in Tehran, Moscow or Beijing.

"We are gradually coming to the conclusion that an internal decision by the USA to leave the (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) has already been made or is close to being made", Ryabkov said in an interview with Interfax news agency.

While there may be some relief that Trump has yet to torpedo the hard-won accord, there were clear signs of frustration from European capitals in the runup to the decision. They claim that, for all the foaming rhetoric coming out of the White House in 2017, the real damage done by Trump was less than many feared.

"This could be one of Washington's big foreign policy mistakes", he added. It is a zero sum game...

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The sanctions Trump waived Friday dealt with Iran's central bank.

Addressing the First Conference of Asian Cultural Dialogueue in Tehran on Saturday, Zarif lashed out at US President Donald Trump's recent racist slur against countries, saying that such an approach hindered inclusive dialogue among nations. Is this a viable strategy?

"Is he bluffing? I don't think so".

Trump in October chose not to certify compliance and warned he might ultimately terminate the accord.

Trump had certified the deal twice before, and senior officials have grudgingly said Iran is complying. He turned a blind eye as Iran built and tested unsafe missiles and exported terror.

Sins of omission as well as commission have had a disastrous impact, such as the U.S. failing to pressure Saudi Arabia to end the war in Yemen. And this will widen the net of negotiations to such a vacuous stage where negotiations on these issues will become impossible.

KA: We will be back to square one of the Iranian nuclear crisis with the Iranians explicitly warning that they will resume their full scale nuclear activities, including enrichment activities. USA and other officials have complained that Iran's ballistic-missile program can easily be converted for nuclear use.

But, just as Iran looks as if it is going to draw less and less economic benefit from the JCPOA, its political gains from agreement are increasing at home and overseas. And it also has a very bad misreading of the nuclear accord, because the accord imposes some restrictions that are long-term, such as restrictive monitoring of Iran's facilities under the additional protocol which will continue forever and Iran will legislate it, if the deal keeps going, if it is not scuttled.

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