Iran Warns It Would Quit The Nuclear Deal If U.S. Withdraws
So far, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N.’s nuclear monitoring agency, has said Iran is complying, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo agrees.
May 6, 2018 (DESPARDES/PKONWEB) — Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday that if the United States quits the nuclear deal between Tehran and six world powers then Washington would regret it “like never before”.
Mr Rouhani’s comments come as the US president decides whether to pull out of the international agreement by a 12 May deadline and refuse to extend U.S. sanctions relief for Iran.
The accord provided Iran access to more than $100bn in assets frozen overseas, and was able to resume selling oil on international markets and using the global financial system for trade. The deal had a proviso: Should Iran violate any aspect of the deal, the UN sanctions will automatically “snap back” into place for 10 years, with the possibility of a five-year extension.
“If the United States leaves the nuclear agreement, you will soon see that they will regret it like never before in history,” Rouhani said in a televised speech in northwestern Iran.
“Trump must know that our people are united, the Zionist regime (Israel) must know that our people are united,” Rouhani added.
The nuclear deal was struck in 2015 between Iran and Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States, then led by Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama which became his signature foreign policy achievement.
Under the pact, sanctions were lifted in return for a commitment not to pursue a nuclear bomb, but Iran says it is not reaping the rewards despite complying with the deal.
France, the UK and Germany have been trying persuade the US president that the current deal is the best way to stop Iran developing nuclear weapons.
Rouhani did not specify how Iran would react if the US pulls out of the deal.
But he said he had given “the necessary orders”, notably to Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, in anticipation of Trump’s decision.
On Thursday Ali Akbar Velayati, the foreign policy adviser to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned Tehran would quit the nuclear deal if the United States withdraws.
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is traveling to Washington on Sunday to discuss the matter with White House officials.
The UN also warned Mr Trump not to walk away from the deal warning that there was a real risk of war if the 2015 agreement was not preserved.
However, he has threatened that the US will “withdraw” from the deal on 12 May – the end of a 120-day review period – unless Congress and European powers fixed its “disastrous flaws”.
In remarks carried live on Iranian state television on Sunday, President Rouhani said: “If America leaves the nuclear deal, this will entail historic regret for it.”
He warned Iran had “a plan to counter any decision Trump may take and we will confront it”.
During two days of talks in Washington, Mr Johnson will meet US Vice-President Mike Pence, National Security Adviser John Bolton and foreign policy leaders in Congress, BBC reports.
Earlier this month, he said it was important to keep the deal “while building on it in order to take account of the legitimate concerns of the US”.
Trump exit from Iran nuclear deal enters uncharted territory
If Trump follows through on his threat to pull the U.S. out of the deal on May 12, the rest of the world will be thrust into uncharted territory, forced to navigate a complex web of U.S. sanctions that were lifted under the landmark accord but would ostensibly be put back in place.
Would Trump re-impose sanctions on those who do business with Iran? How quickly? And would Europe follow suit? How would Iran respond? And what happens to Iran’s pre-existing obligations to allow nuclear inspections?
“It’s going to be very complicated,” said Ama Adams, who advises clients on international sanctions compliance at the law firm Ropes & Gray. “There are lots of opportunities to trip up and make mistakes. It’s going to be a period of a lot of activity and flurry.”
What would Europe do? Germany, France and the U.K. have suggested they have no intention of leaving the deal, even if the U.S. withdraws. But it might not matter much. The global financial system is so interconnected and so tied to New York that it would be almost impossible for anyone anywhere in the world to continue their business with Iran without risk of violating U.S. sanctions. For example, Europe businesses owned or controlled by American parent companies would breach the sanctions if they didn’t cut off Iran.
It’s a major dilemma for European businesses, made even more complicated if the European Union decides to invoke a measure put in place in the 1990s to counter the U.S. embargo on Cuba. The EU can use those regulations to prohibit European companies from complying with some U.S. sanctions. That puts businesses in the position of choosing whether to defy the United States or the EU.
So far, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N.’s nuclear monitoring agency, has said Iran is complying, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo agrees, AP reports.
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