- UN urges Trump not to walk away
Iran warned Thursday it will quit a landmark nuclear deal if President Donald Trump pulls the United States out of the accord, while also criticising European states over “concessions” to the Americans, according to an Agence France-Presse report.
Trump has threatened to abandon the agreement when it comes up for renewal on May 12, demanding his country’s European allies “fix the terrible flaws” or he will re-impose sanctions.
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 a commitment not to pursue a nuclear bomb, but Iran says it is not reaping the rewards despite complying with the deal.
“If the United States withdraws from the nuclear deal, then we will not stay in it,” Ali Akbar Velayati, foreign policy adviser to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was quoted as saying by the state television website.
As Iran’s all-powerful leader, Khamenei has the final word on all policy matters, foreign and domestic, including on the nuclear deal.
Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, also issued a warning to the United States on Thursday in an English-language video posted on YouTube.
“If the US continues to violate the agreement, or if it withdraws altogether, we will exercise our right to respond in a manner of our choosing,” said Zarif.
“The US has consistently violated the agreement, especially by bullying others from doing business with Iran,” he said.
Zarif also criticised European nations.
“In the last year or so, we’ve been told that President Trump is unhappy with the deal, and it now appears that the response from some Europeans has been to offer the United States more concessions, from our pocket,” said Iran’s top diplomat.
Also speaking on the nuclear deal, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has urged President Trump not to walk away from the international deal designed to prevent Iran acquiring nuclear weapons.
Speaking to the BBC, Mr Guterres said there was a real risk of war if the 2015 agreement was not preserved.
Mr Guterres told the BBC that the Iran agreement was an “important diplomatic victory” and should be maintained.
“We should not scrap it unless we have a good alternative,” he said, adding: “We face dangerous times.”