Rouhani says Iran will stay in nuclear deal in exchange for arms embargo relief

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Monday that the country plans to stay in the Obama-era multinational nuclear deal to win relief from a longstanding United Nations arms embargo set to expire next year.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, shown here speaking at the United Nations in September, said Monday his country will remain part of a 2015 nuclear deal to win relief from a U.N. arms embargo next year. Photo by Jemal Countess/

Rouhani, speaking during a provincial tour in Rafsanjan, Kerman, said the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action signed by Iran, the United States and five other countries allows for the arms ban to be lifted if Iran stays part of the nuclear deal.

“If we keep the JCPOA in place, we will make a great political and security achievement by the next year,” Rouhani said. “Iran has been banned by the U.N. from purchasing arms for years; based on the [nuclear] deal, if we preserve the pact till the next year, the arms embargo against the country will be lifted.”

The Trump administration pulled the United States out of the deal last year and since then has ratcheted up sanctions against Iran in an attempt to force them back to the bargaining table. The other countries who were part of the deal — Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia — have all remained part of the pact.

While Rouhani boasted that Iran’s nuclear capabilities “are better than ever,” representatives from Britain, France and Germany were expected to meet Monday in Paris to talk about how to respond to Iran’s stepping back from the JCPOA.

“We are very concerned to see that there are other uranium enrichments that Iran has not only announced but is also carrying out,” German Foreign Minister Maas said. “We want to preserve the JCPOA but Iran will have to return to his obligations and comply with them. Otherwise, we will reserve for ourselves all the mechanisms laid down in the agreement.”

ByClyde Hughes