Iran will not permit Donald Trump to tear up its nuclear deal with the United States, President Hassan Rouhani said Tuesday.
“(Trump) wants to do many things, but none of his actions would affect us,” Rouhani said in an address at the University of Tehran, according to Reuters.
“Do you think the United States can rip up the JCPOA (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal)? Do you think we and our nation will let him do that?”
The JCPOA is a 2015 deal between Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers, including the United States, UK, France, China and Russia plus Germany. Under the deal, Iran must reduce its uranium stockpile by roughly 98%, phase out its centrifuges over the next 15 years, limit research activities, allow heightened inspections and ship spent fuel outside of the country.
The Iranian President, who himself is expected to seek a second term next May, added that his country was not a threat to international peace and that the world was being misguided by Washington and Tel Aviv, according to Iranian state media IRNA.
“By capitalizing on the dispute over Iran’s nuclear issue, they want to persuade others that the Islamic Republic establishes a threat against security and stability of its neighbors as well as Europe and the global peace,” Rouhani told students.
But the agreement’s future has been left in doubt in the wake of Trump’s electoral victory. Throughout his race for the White House, the President-elect has been critical of the Iran deal, calling it one of the worst ever negotiated and pledging to renegotiate its terms.
“When I am elected president, I will renegotiate with Iran,” Trump said in a USA Today op-ed in September last year.
While Trump made no mention of the deal in his video outlining his first 100 days in office, one of his foreign policy advisers confirmed the President-elect’s desire to amend the nuclear agreement a recent radio interview.
“‘Ripping up’ is maybe a too strong of word, he’s going to take that agreement, it’s been done before in international context, and then review it,” Walid Phares said on BBC radio in November.
Sanctions to be extended?
Meanwhile, Iran has threatened the Obama administration against signing a 10-year extension of tough economic sanctions, which was approved by the US Senate last week.
“The US, as a part of the five plus one, is one of our enemies and wants to pressure us. There is no doubt about that. We have to resist, be steadfast and find a way to counter it,” Rouhani said, according to IRNA.
“They may break the nuclear agreement. They have already done so by extending the d’Amato Law (the Iran Sanctions Act). If this measure is actually implemented, then it would be a clear breach of the nuclear agreement and will cause us to react very harshly and severely.”
Rouhani said a committee tasked with “monitoring the implementation of a nuclear agreement with six world powers” will “decide on how to respond to the US Congress’ recent extension of a piece of anti-Iran legislation” on Wednesday, Iran’s state-run Press TV reported.
“Even if the US President declares invalid part of the bill ratified at the US Congress, we will react to the level of JCPOA (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) violation that has already been committed,” Rouhani said.
US senators voted overwhelmingly in favor of a continuance of the Iran Sanctions Act, which they believe is needed to ensure Iran doesn’t violate the terms of the recent international accord to curb its nuclear program.
President Obama has already faced calls from the Republican leadership asking his administration to halt efforts to facilitate companies doing business with Iran throughout the transition months.
“President-elect Trump deserves the opportunity to assess United States policy toward Iran without your administration imposing or implementing additional measures that could complicate the incoming administration’s ability to develop its policy,” House Speaker Paul Ryan, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce wrote in a letter to Obama.
— CNN’s Sheena McKenzie and Samantha Beech contributed to this report.