The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), Ali Akbar Salehi, says Tehran will keep all options on the table if the United States violates the landmark 2015 nuclear deal signed between the Islamic Republic and the P5+1 group of countries.
The US will be the one to suffer if it breaches the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Salehi said in an interview with Lebanon-based Arabic-language al-Mayadeen news network published on Tuesday.
He added that Iran would reciprocate the US approach to the JCPOA.
As the European Union, China, Russia and other world countries have approved the JCPOA, the US withdrawal from the JCPOA would never have any impact on the endurance of the deal, Salehi said.
The senior Iranian nuclear official emphasized that Washington has to bear responsibility for its measures in contravention of the JCPOA.
He said Iran is not liable for any possible violation of the JCPOA because the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has released seven reports verifying Tehran’s complete fulfillment of its commitments under the deal.
Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China – plus Germany reached the JCPOA on July 14, 2015 and began implementing it in January 2016.
Iran has been complaining that the US, under the administration of President Donald Trump, has been seeking to sabotage international trade with Iran. This is while according to the deal, the US must “refrain from any policy specifically intended to directly and adversely affect the normalization of trade and economic relations with Iran.”
The US has also imposed sanctions on Iran over the country’s missile activities, including most recently on July 28.
Iran’s Rouhani Warns Trump Over Nuclear Deal
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who was inaugurated for a second term on Saturday, has accused the United States of trying to undermine Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers, and called for more negotiations amid new U.S. sanctions.
Rouhani won his re-election after promising to “open Iran to the world” and create more jobs. The deal he championed in his first term with the United States and five other major powers in 2015 led to the lifting of most sanctions against Iran in return for curbs on its defensive nuclear program.
“The U.S.’s repeated violations of its commitments and the new sanctions it imposed on Iran have left a negative impact on Iran’s public opinion, and can hamper implementation of the nuclear deal,” Rouhani was quoted as saying by Tasnim news agency in advance of the ceremony.
In late July, the U.S. Senate voted to impose new sanctions on Iran, targeting the Middle Eastern country’s ballistic missile program, as well as so-called “human rights issues.”
Iran has said the new U.S. sanctions break the terms of the nuclear deal and has vowed a “proportional” reaction.
At his inauguration, Rouhani said Iran would continue to abide by the terms of the deal as long as other signatories do the same. “Today is the time for the mother of all negotiations, not the mother of all bombs,” he said.
Among the guests for Rouhani’s inauguration on Saturday were Federica Mogherini, the European foreign policy chief who has pledged to continue building ties with Iran despite mounting pressure from the United States to keep the country isolated.
“All sides have a heavy responsibility to safeguard this agreement which was achieved by a lot of effort,” Rouhani said when meeting Mogherini before the ceremony.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Trump was “trying to destroy the nuclear accord at Iran’s expense, and Europe should be conscious of this,” as quoted by Tasnim.
Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, also asked Europe to “take a more independent policy towards Iran,” local media reported.
Other top foreign officials present at Rouhani’s swearing-in ceremony include French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, State Secretary at the German Foreign Ministry Michael Roth and British Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa Alistair Burt.