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Iranian president rejects U.S., French calls to modify nuclear deal

April 25 (UPI) — Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday slammed U.S. President Donald Trump for criticizing the 2015 nuclear deal — and said the United States cannot make every key decision pertaining to the Middle East.

Speaking in Tabriz Wednesday, Rouhani questioned why Trump wanted to “plunder the resources of the Arab world.”

“Where have you set your greedy eyes on? On the underground reserves of black gold or the multi-billion-dollar bank accounts of certain regional Arab countries?” Rouhani asked.

The Iranian leader particularly took issue with calls from Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron for major changes to the nuclear deal, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Tuesday, they discussed ideological differences they have about the JCPOA — and suggested that it could be modified.

“You, along with the leader of some European country, are deciding for an agreement reached among seven parties. Who allowed you to do that?” Rouhani said of Trump.

Trump has repeatedly called the agreement a “terrible deal” and has threatened to withdraw the United States from the pact if what he views as problems aren’t fixed by May 12.

“We could have made a good deal or a reasonable deal. The Iran deal is a terrible deal,” Trump said.

The agreement — reached in 2015 by Iran, China, France, Russia, Britain, United States and Germany — gave sanctions relief for Iran in exchange for Tehran restricting its nuclear program.

Under the terms of the deal, Iran agreed to eliminate its stockpile of medium-enriched uranium, cut its stockpile of low-enriched uranium and reduce its number of gas centrifuges. Some of the restrictions on Iran are scheduled to be lifted after 10 and 15 years.

Since taking office, Trump has accused Iran of violating the terms of the accord. However, officials say Iran has complied with its terms.

Cornel Seruta, chief coordinator of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said Iran has “significantly” improved their access to locations and information since the deal was enacted.

“Iran is now subject to the world’s most robust nuclear verification regime. Iran is implementing its nuclear-related commitments,” Seruta said. “It is essential that Iran continues to fully implement those commitments.”

Leaders from Britain, Germany and the European Union have also pushed to keep the nuclear accord. Russia and China have called on U.N. member states to express their “unwavering support” for the deal.

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