Hassan Rouhani has warned the US not to push back against the nuclear deal Iran struck with the world powers in 2015, as President Donald Trump prepares to decertify the landmark agreement next week.
“We have achieved benefits during the nuclear talks and the nuclear agreement, which are irreversible,” the Iranian president said on Saturday. “No one can roll them back, neither Trump nor 10 other Trumps.”
Mr Trump has until October 15 to announce whether he will recertify the 2015 deal, in which Iran agreed to curb its nuclear programme in exchange for limited sanctions relief. The deal was signed by seven countries and endorsed by the UN Security Council. Mr Trump has called it “embarrassing” and the “worst deal ever”.
Mr Rouhani said the nuclear negotiations had been a win-win situation for both sides, rejecting “what Trump says, that Iranians fooled us”.
“The talks showed that Iran is not only powerful in war but also in [reaching] peace,” he said. “If the United States violates [the nuclear deal], the entire world will condemn America, not Iran,” he said.
The reformist daily Etemad said Iran would be the winner if the US scrapped the agreement. Pushing back against the agreement would show that Washington was not reliable to fulfil its commitments at a time when North Korea was pursuing destructive policies to expand nuclear weapons, reform-minded politicians told the paper.
Senior US officials are pushing to harden their Iran policy without destroying the historic nuclear deal.
A senior administration official said on Friday that the US president would not seek the reimposition of broad sanctions that would risk collapsing the accord. But Mr Trump is expected to announce new measures, including the prospect of additional targeted sanctions, the designation of the Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organisation and the adoption of a tougher stance on Iranian proxies in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, according to a person briefed on the matter.
If Mr Trump does not recertify the nuclear deal, Congress would have 60 days to consider reimposing nuclear-related sanctions.