Will resume nuclear program, If US withdraws deal: Zarif

TEHRAN: Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Iran will “vigorously” resume the activities it halted under the 2015 nuclear agreement if the United States scraps the multilateral accord.

Speaking to newsmen in New York, Zarif noted that the resumption of uranium enrichment would be Tehran’s “probable” response to a possible US withdrawal from the deal.“America never should have feared Iran producing a nuclear bomb, but we will pursue vigorously our nuclear enrichment,” he said.

US President Donald Trump has been a vociferous critic of the Iran nuclear pact, which was negotiated under his predecessor, Barack Obama. He has called the agreement the “worst deal ever” and even threatened to tear it up.

In January, Trump decided to stick with the deal, but gave the European signatories a May 12 deadline to “fix the terrible flaws” of the accord or have him abandon it. This is while the nuclear agreement, which is officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), is an international document and endorsed by the Security Council Resolution 2231.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Zarif urged European leaders to press Trump to abide by the JCPOA, stressing that offering concessions to the US president would prove futile. “To try to appease the president, I think, would be an exercise in futility,” he said. “It is important for Iran to receive the benefits of the agreement and there is no way that Iran would do a one-sided implementation of the agreement,” he added.

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