Iran: Rouhani threatens to scrap nuclear deal

At the inauguration of his second term, Iranian president urges dialogues with other world leaders

Iran: Rouhani threatens to scrap nuclear deal

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned that Tehran would abandon its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers within hours if the United States keeps on imposing new sanctions. In his speech to parliament, Rouhani also talked about his United States' counterpart Donald Trump stating he had shown the world that Washington was "not a good partner". Rouhani's comments come after the nation he leads carried out missile tests paving the way to new sanctions imposed by Washington D.C. This has led to both of them accusing each other of violating the spirit of their agreement.

Among the guests for Rouhani's inauguration was Federica Mogherini, the EU foreign policy chief, who has pledged to continue building ties with Iran despite pressure from the United States to keep the country isolated. Meeting Mogherini before the ceremony in parliament, Rouhani called for greater efforts to uphold the 2015 nuclear deal struck by Iran and world powers.

Rouhani’s remarks were likely an attempt to appease hard-liners at home who have demanded a tougher stand against the United States, but they are also expected to ratchet up tensions with the Trump administration.

But Rouhani also tempered his own threat, adding that Iran seeks to remain loyal to its commitments under the nuclear deal, which opened a “path of co-operation and confidence-building” with the world. “The deal was a model of the victory of peace and diplomacy over war and unilateralism,” said Rouhani. “It was Iran’s preference, but it was not and will not remain Iran’s only option.”

The US Treasury sanctioned six Iranian firms in late July for their role in the development of a ballistic missile program after Tehran launched a rocket capable of putting a satellite into orbit.  Rouhani warned that Iran was ready to walk out of the 2015 deal, which saw the lifting of most international sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear program, if Washington persisted. "Those who try to return to the language of threats and sanctions are prisoners of their past delusions", Rouhani affirmed. "If they want to go back to that experience, definitely in a short time, not weeks or months, but in the scale of hours and days, we will return to our previous situation very much stronger”.

The Trump administration imposed unilateral sanctions after saying Iran's ballistic missile tests violated a UN resolution that endorsed the nuclear deal and called upon Tehran not to undertake activities related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons. Iran denies its missile development breaches the resolution, saying its missiles are not designed to carry nuclear weapons.

 

Latin American Post | Carlos Eduardo Gómez Avella

Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto

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