Iranian Leaders Reject Macron’s Proposal to Supplement Nuclear Deal

By Ahmad Majidyar | Fellow and Director of IranObserved Project - The Middle East Institute | Sep 19, 2017
Iranian Leaders Reject Macron’s Proposal to Supplement Nuclear Deal

Iranian leaders today rejected France’s President Emmanuel Macron’s suggestion that the Iran nuclear accord could be supplemented to address Iran’s ballistic missile program and Iranian nuclear program after 2025. “Under no circumstances, the Islamic Republic of Iran will hold talks over the J.C.P.O.A.,” said Ali Akbar Velayati, a top aide to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, referring to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – the nuclear deal Tehran signed with world powers two years ago. “This negotiation has taken place once and Iran held talks with the 5+1 countries for a long time and reached an agreement. No doubts from any countries regarding this accord is acceptable and we will not accept any such proposals,” Velayati, a former Iranian foreign minister, added in a reference to Macron’s suggestion.

The chairman of Iranian Parliament's Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, echoed a similar view. “No negotiations to change the J.C.P.O.A. will take place and America is obligated to implement this international document as one of its signatories,” he stressed.

Many hardliners in Iran now argue that the latest U.S. sanctions have already invalidated the nuclear deal. Ayatollah Ghiasoddin Ta-Mohammadi, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s representative to Hamadan Province, said the latest U.S. sanctions have already abrogated the deal. “The funeral of the J.C.P.O.A. has been observed and there is nothing called J.C.P.O.A. anymore.”

On September 14, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif also dismissed the possibility of renegotiating the nuclear deal. “The #JCPOA is not (re)negotiable. A "better" deal is pure fantasy. About time for U.S. to stop spinning and begin complying, just like Iran,” he tweeted.

Comment: Last month, Macron suggested that the Iran agreement could be “supplemented” to address some of the loopholes in the agreement. The French president reiterated that proposal at today’s United Nations General Assembly as well, stressing that a potential U.S. move to unilaterally cancel the deal without a replacement would be irresponsible.

Earlier this month, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson traveled to Europe to seek the support of Washington’s allies to toughen restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program and other non-nuclear concerns such as Tehran’s missile activities. One key U.S. demand from European allies is to pressure Tehran to extend the limits on Iran’s nuclear enrichment that expire in a decade. Foreign ministers of all signatories of the Iran deal are also expected to meet on the sidelines of the U.N.G.A. to discuss the matter.