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Iran Rejects New Participants, Any Talks on Nuclear Deal

FILE - Participants in the Iran nuclear talks that culminated in the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action are pictured during a meeting at the U.N. building in Vienna, Austria, July 14, 2015.

Iran's foreign ministry Saturday rejected any new negotiations or changes to the participants in Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers, after French President Emmanuel Macron said any new talks should include Saudi Arabia.

"The nuclear accord is a multilateral international agreement ratified by U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231, which is non-negotiable and parties to it are clear and unchangeable," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh was quoted by state media as saying.

Iran began breaching the deal's limits on uranium enrichment activity after Washington withdrew from the pact in 2018 under then-President Donald Trump and reimposed economic sanctions on Tehran.

President Joe Biden's new administration has said it will rejoin the deal but only after Tehran resumes full compliance with its terms.

Saudi Arabia and its ally the United Arab Emirates have said that Gulf Arab states should be involved this time in any talks, which they say also should address Iran's ballistic missile program and its support for proxies around the Middle East.

In his comments Friday, cited by Al Arabiya television, Macron stressed the need to avoid what he called the mistake of excluding other countries in the region when the 2015 deal was negotiated.

Saudi Arabia, which is locked in several proxy wars in the region with Tehran, including in Yemen, supported Trump's "maximum pressure" campaign against Iran.

Macron said any new talks on the nuclear deal with Iran would be very "strict" and that a very short time remained to prevent Tehran from having a nuclear weapon.

Khatibzadeh said Macron should "show self-restraint." "If French officials are worried about their huge arms sales to Persian Gulf Arab states, they better reconsider their policies," Khatibzadeh said. "French arms, along with other Western weapons, not only cause the massacre of thousands of Yemenis, but are also the main cause of regional instability."