Top Iranian diplomat: Options if US pulls out of nuclear accord are 'not pleasant'

Top Iranian diplomat: Options if US pulls out of nuclear accord are 'not pleasant'
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Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Tehran has "many options" if the U.S. pulls out of a nuclear agreement, adding that those options are "not pleasant."

“The reason that President TrumpDonald TrumpRealClearPolitics reporter says Freedom Caucus shows how much GOP changed under Trump Jake Ellzey defeats Trump-backed candidate in Texas House runoff DOJ declines to back Mo Brooks's defense against Swalwell's Capitol riot lawsuit MORE has not withdrawn from the deal over the past 15 months in spite of the fact that he did not like the deal has been the fact that everybody has advised the administration that this is not a bilateral agreement between Iran and the United States and withdrawing from it would be seen by the international community as an indication that the United States is not a reliable partner," Zarif said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

“Iran has many options and those options are not pleasant,” he said, adding that Iran's "nuclear activities" are ready to be resumed at a "much greater speed."

Zarif also said there is no reason for Iran to remain in the agreement with other western powers if the accord's benefits “start to diminish.” 


He added that Iran would not accept an agreement between the U.S. and its allies to address some of Trump’s concerns. Trump, who came into office vowing to tear up the “worst deal ever negotiated,” has set a May 12 deadline to improve the accord.

“What is important is for the Europeans to bring the United States into compliance because Iran has been in compliance with the deal. It's been the United States that has failed to comply,” he said.

“President Trump has made it very clear that it is trying to dissuade our economic partners from engaging with Iran and that's a clear violation of the deal. So I think if, if European members of of the nuclear agreement, the E3, want to make the work, they have to make the deal sustainable and in order to make it sustainable it's not to address the additional demands of the United States but bring the United States in compliance with its obligations already undertaken under the deal.”

When asked about whether any nation, including North Korea, would come to an agreement with Trump if he pulls out of the nuclear deal, Zarif said “countries will make their own decisions.”

“Obviously this would be a very bad precedent if the United States sends this message to the international community that the length or the duration of any agreement would depend on the duration of the presidency. That would mean people will at least think twice before they start negotiating with the United States.”