Zarif Warns if Trump walks out of the 'Iran deal' Tehran will vigorously pursue nuclear enrichment

Published April 23rd, 2018 - 05:00 GMT
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is not mincing his words and says if Trump walks out of the 
 nuclear deal Iran signed with the Obama administration and other European states, it will have no hesitation in reactivating its enrichment program. (AFP/File Photo)
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is not mincing his words and says if Trump walks out of the nuclear deal Iran signed with the Obama administration and other European states, it will have no hesitation in reactivating its enrichment program. (AFP/File Photo)

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Iran will "vigorously" resume the activities it halted under the 2015 nuclear agreement if the United States scraps the multilateral accord.

Speaking to reporters in New York on Saturday, Zarif noted that the resumption of uranium enrichment would be Tehran's "probable" response to a possible US withdrawal from the deal.

"America never should have feared Iran producing a nuclear bomb, but we will pursue vigorously our nuclear enrichment," he said.

US President Donald Trump has been a vociferous critic of the Iran nuclear pact, which was negotiated under his predecessor, Barack Obama. He has called the agreement the “worst deal ever” and even threatened to tear it up.

In January, Trump decided to stick with the deal, but gave the European signatories a May 12 deadline to "fix the terrible flaws" of the accord or have him abandon it.

This is while the nuclear agreement, which is officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), is an international document and endorsed by the Security Council Resolution 2231.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Zarif urged European leaders to press Trump to abide by the JCPOA, stressing that offering concessions to the US president would prove futile.

"To try to appease the president, I think, would be an exercise in futility," he said.

The Iranian foreign minister also hit out at the Trump administration for having "done everything it could to prevent Iran from benefiting from this agreement," warning that the Islamic Republic is "unlikely" to stick to the JCPOA if the US pulls out of it.

"It is important for Iran to receive the benefits of the agreement and there is no way that Iran would do a one-sided implementation of the agreement," he added.

A possible US withdrawal from the Iran deal would send a message to all governments "that you should never come to an agreement with the United States, because at the end of the day, the operating principle for the United States is, what's mine is mine, what's yours is negotiable," Zarif pointed out.

In an interview with the CBS television network, the top Iranian diplomat said that Iran has a number of options ready at hand for responding to a possible US pullout of the JCPOA, including the resumption of its nuclear activities “at a much greater speed.”  

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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