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Iranian official: Trump’s withdrawal from nuclear deal puts him on ‘loser’s side’

Iran's nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi said on Tuesday that President Trump's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal puts him "on the loser's side," The Associated Press reported.

Salehi said Iran's nuclear program would emerge in a stronger position than ever, though he noted he still hoped the atomic deal between Iran and other countries would survive, according to AP.

"I think [Trump] is on the loser's side because he is pursuing the logic of power," Salehi told the AP. "He thinks that he can, you know, continue for some time but certainly I do not think he will benefit from this withdrawal, certainly not."

Trump in May withdrew the United States from the nuclear deal, which provided Tehran billions of dollars in sanctions relief in exchange for limits on its nuclear program.

The president last month reimposed sanctions on Iran that had been lifted as part of the deal, which he had called "the worst deal ever negotiated."

The sanctions have badly hurt Iran's economy, sending its currency sharply lower. 

But Salehi told the AP that Iran would be able to withstand economic pressure following Trump's decision to withdraw, saying that the country would be "standing on a much, much higher position" than it was before the deal was negotiated.

"If we have to go back and withdraw from the nuclear deal, we certainly do not go back to where we were before," he said. "We will be standing on a much, much higher position."

Trump has had a fraught relationship with Iran that escalated over the summer when he and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani provided warnings to each other.

Rouhani told a group of diplomats in July that "America should know that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace, and war with Iran is the mother of all wars."

Trump responded with an all-caps tweet warning Rouhani to "never, ever threaten the United States."

"To Iranian President Rouhani: NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!" Trump wrote.

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