Zarif Says Leaving Nuclear Deal Option for Iran If U.S. Acts
11:20, Sunday, 15 October, 2017
Iran would consider withdrawing from the nuclear deal if the U.S. tries to re-impose sanctions eased as a result of the July 2015 accord, the country’s foreign minister said. Mohammad Javad Zarif said on state television that Friday’s statements by President Donald Trump betrayed an “absence of any strategy” on Iran. He reiterated that Iran’s defense and missiles programs would never be subject to negotiation. Trump on Friday laid out a plan to confront Iran and renegotiate a 2015 nuclear agreement signed with Tehran and other world powers. The U.S. Treasury also announced new measures against the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a hard-line military and political force in Iran. “If Iran feels at any time that actions taken by the opposing side regarding the lifting of sanctions are not enough for the Islamic Republic, then Iran will have a number of choices -- and one of those is exiting the nuclear deal,” Zarif said. “If sanctions are re-imposed in areas of particular importance to us, including oil sales, shipping and shipping insurance and the sale of airplanes, we will have the right to make a decision on our presence in the nuclear deal.” Since the nuclear deal was implemented, Iran had written nine letters to the U.S. government raising concerns over unspecified “shortcomings and violations” it claimed were committed by the U.S., Zarif said. He added that he would write to the European Union’s foreign envoy, Federica Mogherini, about Trump’s comments from Friday. The EU, Russia and China have strongly backed the nuclear accord and said terms cannot be renegotiated. The EU imported 5.5 billion euros ($6.5 billion) worth of goods from Iran in 2016, more than four times the previous year, according to the bloc’s own statistics.