Rouhani warns Trump over dumping Iran nuclear deal

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President Hassan Rouhani: warns Trump on nuclear deal

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned that if the United States quits the nuclear deal then Washington will regret it “like never before”.

Rouhani gave the warning as British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson scrambles to save the agreement during talks with the Trump administration Monday.

US President Donald Trump has threatened to withdraw from 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.

“If the United States leaves the nuclear agreement, you will soon see that they will regret it like never before in history,” reformist 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 said.

“Today all (Iran’s) political factions, whether they be from the right, the left, the conservatives, reformers and moderates are united,” he added.

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 eased 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.

Trump has consistently complained about the agreement, citing perceived flaws including “sunset” provisions lifting some nuclear restrictions from 2025.

In an attempt to salvage the deal, French President Emmanuel Macron has recently pushed to extend its scope to address this issue, as well as the absence of any limits on Iran’s conventional missile capabilities and Tehran’s role in the region.

Britain’s Johnson will on Monday begin a two-day visit to Washington, with the nuclear deal among issues on top of the agenda, the Foreign Office said.

He is due to meet US Vice President Mike Pence, National Security Advisor John Bolton and Congressional foreign policy leaders.

He said Britain — which remains committed to the agreement — the United States and Europe were “united in our effort to tackle the kind of Iranian behaviour that makes the Middle East region less secure -– its cyber activities, its support for groups like Hezbollah, and its dangerous missile programme”.

Iran’s support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, via the Lebanese armed group Hezbollah in Syria’s civil war, and its backing for Shiite Huthi rebels in Yemen have added to frictions between Tehran and Western powers.


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