Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Friday that U.S. President Donald Trump could not decertify Iran’s international nuclear deal “unilaterally.”
“Iran’s nuclear deal is a multilateral deal and cannot be removed by the president of one country,” Rouhani said in the live broadcast of the state TV, following Trump’s aggressive remarks on Iran on Friday.
“Trump’s remarks showed that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is stronger than what he treated during his presidential campaign,” Rouhani said, adding that the U.S. president failed to ally other parties involved in the clinch of deal with his policy over the nuclear deal.
The Iranian president stressed that Iran would respect the nuclear deal as long as its “national interests and rights are met.”
“We have cooperated with the IAEA and will keep working with the UN body within our commitment,” he said, warning that “however, if one day, our interests from the JCPOA are not respected, we will not hesitate to respond.”
On Friday, Trump announced that he had decided not to certify Iran’s compliance with the landmark deal reached in 2015.
Trump announced the major shift in U.S. policy in a speech in which he detailed a more aggressive approach to Iran over its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes and its support for extremist groups in the Middle East.
He accused Iran of “not living up to the spirit” of the nuclear agreement and said his goal is to ensure Tehran never obtains a nuclear weapon, in effect throwing the fate of the deal to Congress.
He singled out Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps for sanctions and delivered a blistering critique of Tehran, which he accused of destabilising actions in Syria, Yemen and Iraq.
“We will not continue down a path whose predictable conclusion is more violence, more terror and the very real threat of Iran’s nuclear breakout,” Trump said.
“Based on the factual record I have put forward, I am announcing today that we cannot and will not make this certification,” Trump said at the White House.
He also threatened that he might terminate the nuclear deal at any time.
Trump’s hardline remarks only elicited praise from Israel, Iran’s arch-foe, but was condemned by European allies, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and the European Union – some of which have benefited economically from renewed trade with Iran.
The JCPOA was reached in 2015 between Iran and Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States plus Germany.
According to the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act passed by U.S. Congress in 2015, the U.S. government is required to recertify to Congress Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal every 90 days.