In an interview broadcast live on Iranian national television, Rouhani said that the US lacked any backing from the other signatories for its hostile stance toward the deal, and that the Trump administration faced “the most difficult circumstances” in trying to upend it.
“Of course, we will respond to any violation of the commitments carried out by the US, but even so, the US faces the most difficult conditions and we are in the best position,” Rouhani said. “We will not be the ones to initiate a violation of the nuclear deal, not ever, but neither will we sit idly by in the face of violations of the deal by others.”
He pointed out that the European Union continues to support the deal, known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), despite pressure from their ally, the US.
“As you know, the EU’s stance on the JCPOA is clear; all 28 countries in the bloc have announced that they are committed to the nuclear agreement,” he added.
Rouhani shrugged off any concerns about recent attempts by the US government to influence the United Nations nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, which is responsible for overseeing Iran’s compliance with the terms of the pact.
“I doubt that the Agency will bow to pressure from the US, and neither will we,” Rouhani said.
Rouhani also noted that Iran can never be bullied into permitting the inspection of its military sites.
Rouhani said that Washington’s demands from IAEA over the inspection of Iran’s military sites would probably not be accepted by the UN body.
"The International Atomic Energy Agency is very unlikely to agree to the US’s demands over inspecting our military sites," he stressed.
The president referred to the Friday statements by US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley who urged the IAEA to request access to Iranian military sites, in what is regarded as an attempt by the US to undermine the JCPOA.
The deal was reached between Iran and the P5+1 countries — namely the US, Russia, China, France, Britain, and Germany — in July 2015 and took effect in January 2016.
US President Donald Trump has called the JCPOA — which was negotiated under his predecessor, Barack Obama — “the worst deal ever” and repeatedly threatened to tear it up.
Rouhani further stressed that regulations determine the framework of Iran’s relation with the IAEA not Washington and its pressure.