Iran Says Reviving Nuclear Deal 'Useless'

FILE - Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, shown here speaking at a press conference in Beirut, Lebanon, on Oct. 13, 2023, said on Dec. 9 that it would be "useless" to try reviving a nuclear deal that was scuttled by former U.S. President Donald Trump.

Iran said Saturday that attempting to revive its landmark nuclear deal with world powers that was effectively scrapped by former U.S. President Donald Trump was increasingly "useless."

"Today, the more we advance, the more the JCPOA becomes useless," Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said in a speech to students at the University of Tehran, using the initials of the official name of the nuclear deal.

In 2015, Iran agreed to curbs on its nuclear program in exchange for a lifting of sanctions.

But while the deal was signed with several world powers — including China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany — it was rendered effectively useless when the United States unilaterally withdrew under Trump in 2018.

With the U.S. reimposing sanctions, international banks and businesses have stayed away from Iran for fear of falling foul of U.S. regulators.

Tentative efforts to revive the deal by Trump's successor, Joe Biden, have been at a standstill since mid-2022.

"Because [Iran's] red lines have sometimes been ignored by the other side, we are not currently on the path to return to the agreement," Amirabdollahian said.

"Of course, this does not mean that we have set the agreement aside. If the agreement serves our interests, [we will accept it] with all its flaws," he said.

The director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi, called in October on the international community not to fail in Iran as it did in North Korea, which now has nuclear weapons.

Iran says its nuclear program is entirely peaceful, but since 2021 the U.N. body has struggled to monitor the development of its capabilities.