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Iran warns Trump against sabotaging nuclear deal
Published in The Egyptian Gazette on 22 - 04 - 2018

New York, April 22, 2018 (News agencies) -- Iran's top diplomat has issued a stark warning to Donald Trump that if he follows through on his threat to scrap the 2015 nuclear
agreement in three weeks' time he will have to "face the consequences" that will not be "pleasant" for the United States.
Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, painted a bleak picture of the prospects for survival of the nuclear deal, which
Trump has threatened to tear up on 12 May by refusing to waive a set of sanctions – a move that is integral to the agreement. Zarif
indicated that should the US effectively pull out, Iran would refuse to stay inside the deal alongside the Europeans, calling that
option "highly unlikely".
An option actively being considered by Tehran, by contrast, was to withdraw entirely from the deal by returning to uranium
enrichment. Other proposals being floated in the Iranian parliament, Zarif said, involved more "drastic" measures – though he would
not specify what those entailed.
In an interview with reporters at an Iranian official residence overlooking New York's Central Park, Zarif said that the Trump
administration had the "option to kill the deal, but they have to face the consequences ... We will make our decision based on our
national security interest when the time comes, but whatever it is it will not be very pleasant for the United States, I can say that."
Trump indicated in January that he would refuse to sign the sanctions waiver when it came up for its next renewal on 12 May unless
Iran agreed to accept a raft of new restrictions. But Zarif made it clear that the Iranian regime had no intention of accepting any new
demands, and turned the argument around by accusing Washington of already violating the deal, known as the Joint
Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
He accused the US of doing everything in its power to prevent Iran from engaging economically with the rest of the world, thus
blocking Tehran from benefitting from the easing of sanctions permitted under JCPOA. He said that and other moves by the US
amounted to a breach of the deal that had been going on for the past 15 months.
"I don't think that a country that has been in breach for at least the last 15 months is in a position to make any new demands," he
said.
Zarif is in New York to attend a UN meeting on peace-building. In the course of a six-day stay in the city he will have a one-on-one
audience with the UN secretary general, Antonio Guterres.
As the final countdown begins to the next sanctions waiver deadline, and amid Trump's grand posturing, European states are
scrambling to see what can be done to salvage matters should the US president stand by his word and pull the rug out from under
the deal. But Zarif gave very little sense of hope that anything would be possible.
He said it was "highly unlikely" that Iran would stay inside the JCPOA if the US effectively pulled out. "It's very important for Iran to
receive the benefits of the agreement – there's no way that Iran would do a one-sided implementation of it."
He said France and Germany could try and persuade the US to deflect from the collision course it was on, but he predicted such
efforts would be "fruitless". And he warned of the danger to world peace posed by Trump's stance.
"The US is sending a very dangerous message to the people of Iran and the people of the world. It says you never come to an
agreement with the US.
"The situation is creating an impression globally that agreements don't matter."


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