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Iran rejects suggestions for new arms deal as Trump prepares to leave the nuclear agreement


WASHINGTON (Circa) -- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani rejected any potential agreement curbing Iran's growing weapons stockpile on Sunday, just days before the U.S. deadline on sanctions renewal which could determine the fate of the Iranian nuclear agreement.

"As many facilities, weapons, missiles that are necessary for our country -- we will produce them, stockpile them," Rouhani told a crowd in Sabzevar, Iran. "It is none of others' business."

Rouhani's words were directed toward the U.S. and Europe. French President Emmanuel Macron has called for a new agreement which address several concerns voiced by President Donald Trump regarding the Iran deal, specifically its lack of provisions on ballistic missiles. It's a last ditch effort to keep the U.S. in the 2015 nuclear agreement.

Per federal law, the White House must sign off on a renewal to waive sanctions against Iran periodically. May 12 is the next deadline for a decision, however, Trump tweeted that he will make his decision known on Tuesday. The president has been a critic of the Obama-era agreement since his campaign for the presidency in 2016, describing it as one of the worst deals ever made. Trump promised to remove the U.S. from the international agreement upon entering the White House, but has so far been convinced to renew the sanctions waivers. But his patience ran out earlier this year when he demanded Congress and the European signatories figure out a way to fix the deal, or risk the U.S. pulling out.

If Trump refuses to renew the sanctions waiver, the stringent sanctions the U.S imposed on Iran prior to the agreement will go back into effect. Iran is widely expected to remove itself from the deal should that occur, effectively bringing the entire agreement to an end. In the worst case scenario, the regime could also throw out international weapons inspectors and restart its nuclear weapons program.

The oil market responded to the uncertain situation on Monday, with prices jumping to $70 per barrel, the highest price since November 2014. Iran, which relies heavily on oil exports, has reportedly prepared for these market fluctuations, but dealing with renewed U.S. sanctions could prove much more difficult. At their peak, U.S. sanctions effectively decimated the Iranian economy. For the U.S. the threat of a nuclear Iran could be problematic, especially given the country's meddling across the Middle East.

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