Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei challenged United States President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the nuclear deal, saying, “You cannot do a damn thing”, according to AP. He called the decision “silly” and “superficial”.
“He [Trump] had maybe more than 10 lies in his comments,” said Khamenei, according to the Independent. “He threatened the regime and the people. Mr Trump, I tell you on behalf of the Iranian people: You’ve made a mistake.”
Donald Trump on Tuesday said he would pull out of a nuclear agreement with Iran, and called the deal “decaying and rotten”. It was signed in 2015 during former President Barack Obama’s tenure.
The nuclear deal, signed by the five permanent members of the United Nations, Germany, the European Union and Iran, had lifted decades-old sanctions on Tehran on the promise that it would tone down its nuclear programme considerably.
“The Iran deal is defective at its core,” said Trump, according to The Washington Post. “If we do nothing, we know exactly what will happen. In just a short period of time, the world’s leading state sponsor of terror will be on the cusp of acquiring the world’s most dangerous weapons.”
The US Treasury said economic sanctions would not be re-imposed on Iran immediately. There will be wind-down periods of 90 to 180 days for Iran companies to adjust to Trump’s decision. European companies doing business with Iran will have six months to finish their business or face sanctions, said US National Security Advisor John Bolton, according to BBC.
Iran says it is committed to the deal
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said he would speak to allies and the other signatories of the nuclear deal. “If we achieve the deal’s goals in cooperation with other members of the deal, it will remain in place,” he said. He accused the US of not respecting its commitments.
Iran has time and again claimed that its nuclear programme was entirely peaceful, and its compliance with the deal has been verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency. “I have ordered the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran to be ready for action if needed, so that, if necessary, we can resume our enrichment on an industrial level without any limitations,” said Rouhani.
Decision is misguided, says Obama
Former US President Barack Obama called Trump’s decision misguided. “At a time when we are all rooting for diplomacy with North Korea to succeed, walking away from the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] risks losing a deal that accomplishes – with Iran – the very outcome that we are pursuing with the North Koreans,” he said.
Other signatories like France, Germany and the United Kingdom said they “regret” the decision. The foreign ministry of Russia said it was “deeply disappointed”.
United Nations General-Secretary Anonito Guterres said he was “deeply concerned” by Trump’s decision. “I have consistently reiterated that the JCPOA represents a major achievement in nuclear non-proliferation and diplomacy and has contributed to regional and international peace and security.” He called on other participants of the deal to abide by their respective commitments and asked member states to support the agreement.
The European Union’s top diplomat, Federica Mogherini, said the bloc was “determined to preserve” the deal. British Prime Minister Theresa May, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in their statement, “This resolution remains the binding international legal framework for the resolution of the dispute about the Iranian nuclear programme. We urge all sides to remain committed to its full implementation and to act in a spirit of responsibility.”
Hillary Clinton, 2016 US presidential candidate, said pulling out of the deal was a “big mistake”. “As Secretary of State, I helped negotiate the crippling international sanctions that brought Iran to the table,” she tweeted on Wednesday. “It would be much harder a second time, now that our credibility is shot.”
United Kingdom’s Foreign Minister Boris Johnson said, “UK will work with E3 partners and the other parties to the deal to maintain it.”
Israel and Saudi Arabia supported Trump’s decision.