Iranian Foreign Minister: Nuclear Deal ‘Was Based on Mutual Mistrust’

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Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said no one in the Islamic Republic ever trusted the United States and the nuclear agreement was based on "mutual mistrust."

In an interview airing Sunday on "Face The Nation," Iran's chief nuclear negotiator with the United States slammed President Donald Trump for decertifying Iran's compliance with the Obama-era nuclear deal this week and "widening the mistrust" between the two countries.

"None of us ever trusted the United States," he said. "This deal was not based on trust. It was based on mutual mistrust, and I think that was the strength of this deal. It's not something bad about the deal … Unfortunately, the way President Trump is handling it, it's widening the mistrust, not only between Iran and the United States, but between the global community and the United States."

Zarif called the U.S. "unreliable" under Trump's leadership. Former Secretary of State John Kerry, one of Zarif's key negotiating partners in the P5+1 agreement that created the nuclear deal, said Trump had created an "international crisis."

In remarks announcing the decertification of Iran's compliance, Trump outlined Iran's sponsorship of terrorism and spreading of "death, destruction and chaos" around the world.

By punting the issue to lawmakers, the Trump administration is encouraging Congress to address Iran's pursuit of ballistic missile technology and its nuclear obfuscation.

According to the Washington Free Beacon, Congress is getting set to consider new legislation that will require Iran to accept tougher conditions on the existing agreement or face new economic sanctions:

The new legislation, spearheaded by Rep. Peter Roskam (R., Ill.), would reimpose all economic sanctions lifted by the former Obama administration as part of the nuclear agreement if Iran refuses to comply with tough new standards restricting its ballistic missile program, arms buildup, and failure to permit access to a range of military sites suspected of engaging in nuclear work.

The legislation also would effectively kill provisions of the nuclear agreement known as sunset clauses. These are portions of the deal that would rollback restrictions on Iran's advanced nuclear research and weapons buildup within the next five to six years.

Trump, as well as allies in Congress, maintains the original nuclear accord contains several key flaws that permit Iran to cheat on the deal and receive sweetheart bonuses—such as sanctions relief and other assets—despite evidence of multiple violations of the agreement.

The Iran nuclear deal was brokered during the Obama administration and lifted sanctions on Iran in exchange for the halting of its nuclear development. The agreement contained a "sunset" clause that saw restrictions on its nuclear activity being lifted beginning within 10 years of its 2015 implementation.

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