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Iran's Rouhani questions 'right' to seek new nuclear deal

© AFP | Iran's president Hassan Rouhani gives a speech in the city of Tabrizon April 25, 2018, during an event commemorating the city as the 2018 capital of Islamic tourism


Iran's President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday questioned the legitimacy of demands for a fresh nuclear agreement with Tehran, after the leaders of the US and France called for a "new" deal.

"Together with a leader of a European country they say: 'We want to decide on an agreement reached by seven parties'. What for? With what right?" Rouhani said in a speech.

US President Donald Trump has fiercely criticised a three-year-old deal reached by world powers to curb Iran's nuclear programme, and threatened to pull the US out of the agreement.

Trump is eyeing a broader pact that also limits Iran's ballistic missile programme and support for armed groups across the Middle East.

European signatories to the 2015 deal have been scrambling to salvage it, with French President Emmanuel Macron saying Tuesday after talks with Trump that he wished "for now to work on a new deal with Iran".

Iran has repeatedly insisted it is sticking to the nuclear deal and will not negotiate over its missile programme.

Rouhani took aim at Trump -- a former real estate mogul and TV reality star -- and accused him of lacking in experience.

"You are just a businessman... you have no experience in politics or law or international agreements," he said. "How can he pass judgements on international affairs?"

Rouhani insisted that by agreeing to the nuclear accord in 2015 Tehran "showed goodwill to the world".

"We wanted to prove to the world that Iran does not seek to acquire weapons of mass destruction."

© 2018 AFP