President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday warned his US counterpart Donald Trump that pulling America out of the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers would be a “historic remorse.”
“If the US opts to pull out of the nuclear deal, it will soon realize that this decision will become a historic remorse for them,” Rouhani told a crowd of people in the city of Sabzevar while on a tour of Iran’s Khorasan Razavi Province.
Trump has called the deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the “worst deal ever” and has threatened to tear it up.
He has threatened to abandon the agreement when it comes up for recertification on May 12, demanding his country’s European allies “fix the terrible flaws” or he will reimpose sanctions.
“Trump must know that our people are united, the Zionist regime (Israel) must know that our people are united,” Rouhani added.
“This nation is neither afraid nor has any fear from you. This great nation will continue with its progress and development,” he said.
The nuclear deal was struck in 2015 between Iran and Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States, then led by Barack Obama.
Under the pact, sanctions were lifted in return for curbs on Iran’s nuclear program, but Tehran says it is not reaping the rewards despite complying with the deal.
Rouhani did not specify how Iran would react if the US pulls out of the deal but said he had given “the necessary orders,” notably to Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, in anticipation of Trump’s decision.
“Orders have been issued to our Atomic Energy Organization ... and to the economic sector to confront America’s plots against our country,” he said.
Rouhani also assured Iranians that “no change will occur in our lives next week” regardless of Trump’s decision.
“We have plans to resist any decision by Trump on the nuclear accord,” Rouhani said.
“Whatever decision Trump makes, we have a plan and program to counter him and resist. Our nation is a free, brave, and persistent nation, and our enemies, God willing, will be brought to shame with their plots.”
Trump spoke with British Prime Minister Theresa May on Saturday on issues including the Iran nuclear deal, the White House said.
European powers agreed that the deal is the best way of stopping Tehran from getting nuclear weapons, May’s office said in late April.
French President Emmanuel Macron urged Trump to stay in the deal when he met with the president in Washington last month.
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson travelled to Washington on Sunday for a two-day visit, when he will meet with Vice President Mike Pence and National Security Adviser John Bolton, for talks on Iran, North Korea, Syria and other issues.
Defense capabilities non-negotiable
Britain, France and Germany remain committed to the nuclear accord but, in an effort to keep Washington in it, they want to open talks on Iran’s ballistic missile program, its nuclear activities beyond 2025 – when key provisions of the deal expire – and its influence in Middle East region.
Rouhani addressed the US and Europeans, saying that Iran “is loyal to its promises but it is explicitly telling the whole world, Europe, the US, the West and the East that we will not talk about our country’s weapons and defense with anyone.”
“We will not negotiate with anyone about our weapons and defense; we will make and store as many weapons, facilities and missiles as we need,” Rouhani said, reiterating a rejection by Iranian officials of talks on Iran’s missile program, which Tehran says is defensive.
As regards Iran’s role in the region, Rouhani said, Iran wants to talk to the rest of the world about restoring security to the Middle East.
“We are negotiating with Turkey and Russia about Syria. We are negotiating with different countries about Yemen, but we must tell the world that we will fight terrorism in every part of the region,” he said.
“We do not allow you to create a Daesh [ISIS] in this area every day and clash with the regional nations,” Rouhani said, addressing the US and its allies.
“We want peace and stability for the region. We tell the world we do not favor wars and tensions, but we are determined in defending our interests and we will stand against any conspiracy,” he added.
AP, AFP, Reuters and Press TV contributed to this story.