This past weekend, Iran’s top diplomat issued a stark warning to President Trump if Trump chooses to scrap the 2015 Iran nuclear deal within the next three weeks. Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, stated that if Trump decided to leave the agreement, the United States would have to “face the consequences,” which will not be “pleasant.”
Zarif took the time to paint a bleak picture of the prospects for survival of the nuclear deal, which Trump has threatened to tear up on May 12 by refusing to waive a set of sanctions – a move integral to the agreement. Zarif said if America did choose to pull out of the deal, Iran would refuse to work alongside the Europeans.
Zariff did state that an option being heavily considered by Tehran was to withdraw entirely from the deal by returning to uranium enrichment. Another possible proposal being tossed around in the Iranian parliament are much more “drastic” measures, although Zariff would not specify what those measures entailed.
Earlier this year, Trump warned it was possible he would refuse to sign the sanctions waiver when it came up for renewal in early May 2018 unless Iran would accept the new restrictions imposed. Zarif made it clear the Iranian government would not accept any of these demands and made a point to blame the United States for already violating a deal called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Zarif accused the United States of doing everything within its power to block Iran from economically engaging with the rest of the world. Zarif also stated that because the U.S. was preventing Iran from benefiting from the easing of sanctions that are permitted under the JCPOA, the United States should not be making any demands at all.
“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,” Zarif said.
Zarif, who is in New York City to attend the UN meeting, is planning on having a one-on-one meeting with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres within the next six days.