Iran threatens to quit nuclear deal

Tehran, Feb 23: Iran may withdraw from the 2015 international nuclear deal if it cannot receive economic benefits, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said on Thursday.

"If the policy of confusion and uncertainties about the JCPOA (or nuclear deal) continues, if companies and banks are not working with Iran... we cannot remain in a deal that has no benefit for us," Araghchi said at a speech at Royal Institute of International Affairs in London, reported Xinhua new agency citing, Press TV.

Araghchi said US President Donald Trump "has created an atmosphere of uncertainty which is like a poison for the business community in working with Iran".

"The (nuclear) deal would not survive this way even if the (US) waivers are extended," he added.

On January 12, Trump once again extended the waivers that are mandatory under the deal reached between Iran and six major world powers in 2015, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Trump said he extended the sanctions relief on Iran for the last time, threatening to withdraw from the landmark pact unless US Congress and European allies can fix the alleged "disastrous flaws" in the deal.

Trump has constantly criticised the pact inked between Iran and Russia, Britain, France, China, the US and Germany, in which the West promised to relieve sanctions on Tehran in exchange for a halt in Iran's efforts to develop a nuclear weapon.

Iran said it will not take any measures beyond its commitment to the JCPOA, nor will it accept changes to this agreement now or any time in the future.

The US is the only party that has threatened to scrap the deal, a stance that has been opposed by other participants.

Since 2017 when Trump took office, the US has sanctioned around 100 individuals and entities involved with Iran's ballistic missile program and other activities which the US deems as "illicit."

Iran has dismissed the US calls for halting its missile programme development, saying it is only for deterrent purposes.