September 20, 2018 / 12:59 PM / in 25 days

Iran dismisses U.S. offer of talks, says Washington broke last deal

LONDON (Reuters) - Iran hit back at a U.S. offer of negotiations on Thursday, saying Washington had violated the terms of the last big deal they agreed, the 2015 nuclear accord.

FILE PHOTO: Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif smiles during a meeting with Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis, in Bern, Switzerland, July 2, 2018. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo

U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of that nuclear accord - which curbed Iran’s atomic activities in return for sanctions relief - in May, saying it did not go far enough.

The U.S. special envoy for Iran, Brian Hook, said on Wednesday that Washington now wanted to negotiate a treaty that included Tehran’s ballistic missile programme and its regional behaviour.

Hook said the new deal that Washington hoped to sign with Iran, would not be a “personal agreement between two governments like the last one, we seek a treaty.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif took to Twitter to dismiss the characterisation of last deal as a “personal agreement”, saying it was “an int’l accord enshrined in a UN (Security Council resolution)”.

“U.S. has violated its treaty obligations too... Apparently, U.S. only mocks calls for peace,” he added in the message that was attached to a video of a protester who took to the stage after Hook’s speech, shouting that sanctions were hurting Iranian people.

The five other world powers that signed the 2015 accord with Iran - France, Germany, Britain, China and Russia - have been trying to salvage it, saying it offers the best chance to stop Iran developing a nuclear bomb. Tehran says its nuclear work is for electricity generation and other peaceful purposes.

Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin; Editing by David Stamp and Andrew Heavens

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