Middle East

'Long-lasting victory': Iran's Rouhani says US has failed to undermine nuclear deal

President Hassan Rouhani says the nuclear deal between Tehran and major global powers has not been undermined by Donald Trump's efforts.

Iran's president says the United States has failed to undermine a nuclear deal between Tehran and major powers, and hailed the accord as a "long-lasting victory" for Iran, state television reported.

US President Donald Trump on Friday delivered an ultimatum to European signatories of the deal to fix the "terrible flaws" of the agreement with Iran, or the United States would pull out.

"The American administration has failed to undermine the nuclear deal ... Trump, despite his repeated efforts, has failed to undermine the accord," President Hassan Rouhani said in a speech broadcast live on state TV.

"The deal is a long-lasting victory for Iran," he added.

On Friday, Trump agreed to waive sanctions against Iran for the last time to give the United States and European allies a final chance to amend the pact.

Iran says the nuclear deal is not renegotiable and it will stick to the accord as long as the other signatories respect it but will "shred" the deal if Washington pulls out.

Under the deal, Iran agreed to curb its nuclear programme in exchange for lifting of most sanctions.

Iran has the backing of all the partners to the agreement apart from the United States, with Russia warning Washington that withdrawing would be "a big miscalculation".

"We are gradually coming to the conclusion that an internal decision by the US to leave the JCPOA has already been made or is close to being made," Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told the Interfax news agency.

"This could be one of Washington's big foreign policy mistakes," he added.

The other parties to the agreement - Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the European Union - have all said the deal is working and that Iran is complying fully with its commitments.

Britain and Germany said Friday they had taken note of Trump's latest decision and would confer with France before responding.

On the streets of Tehran, many people have grown cynical and exasperated by the endless pressure from the United States. 

"It doesn't make any difference. We have been under US sanctions for the last 40 years," said Farshad Alyan, a 26-year-old law student.

"Two years ago when the JCPOA was signed we were so hopeful. We don't have that hope anymore."

- with AFP