Middle East/North Africa

Iran warns Europe on nuclear deal: ‘Tomorrow the European soldier could be in danger’

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday warned European nations that have accused the country of breaking the Iran nuclear deal. 

The leader said that currently only American soldiers are in danger, but pending European countries’ decision on whether or not to impose economic sanctions on Iran, European soldiers could also face a threat.

The statement came on Tuesday after Britain, France and Germany made the formal accusation that Iran broke the 2015 agreement that limited its nuclear program, taking the first step toward reimposing United Nations sanctions and isolating Iran. 

Previously, European signatories have tried to save what is left with the deal after the U.S. pulled out of the agreement in 2018 and slapped sanctions on the country thereafter. 

In response, Iran breached the deal’s restrictions on enriching Uranium, despite European countries’ protests. 

The countries said that they would still like to remain in the deal with Iran. However, the Iranian leader pushed back, saying that Germany, France and Britain have sided with the U.S., and intimated that they are carrying out a United States agenda, according to a report from The New York Times

“Today, the American soldier is not safe, tomorrow it could be the turn of the European soldier,” Rouhani said in a speech, Agence France-Presse reported.

“You will suffer if you take a wrong move,” Rouhani warned. 

Rouhani, however, left room for a possible negotiation. He said that if the U.S. softened economic sanctions on Iran, it would likely cease enriching Uranium to the standards set by the deal.

In a Wednesday morning interview on CNBC, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the U.S. would remain committed to economic sanctions against the country. 

“I’ve had very direct discussions — as well as Secretary Pompeo has — with our counterparts,” Mnuchin told CNBC. “I think you saw the E3 did put out the statement and have activated the dispute resolution. And we look forward to working with them quickly and would expect that the U.N. sanctions will snap back into place.” 

The United Nations negotiations began before the U.S. killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani in an airstrike and have been on hold as the repercussions play out. Abbas Mousavi, a spokesman for Iran’s foreign ministry, said Tehran is prepared to retaliate if the European nations impose economic sanctions. 

“They should prepare themselves for potential consequences, of which they have been notified,” Mousavi said, according to the state-run outlet Press TV.

–This report was updated at 2:00 p.m.

Tags Steven Mnuchin

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