Iranian FM Zarif Accuses America of ‘Making Big Mistake,’ Violating Nuclear Deal
Iran’s foreign minister accused the United States of “making a big mistake” and of not honoring last year’s nuclear deal, the regime-aligned news agency Tasnim reported on Monday, invoking a recent reference by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
According to the report, Mohammad Javad Zarif — chief Iranian negotiator of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) signed with world powers a year ago in July — told Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) that “the Iranian nation’s distrust of the US is growing day by day as a result of Washington’s lack of commitment to the deal.”
Zarif also indicated that Khamenei had both anticipated possible breaches and prepared guidelines to avoid losses to Iran in such an event — meaning that if all sanctions against the Islamic Republic are not lifted immediately, Tehran will take action, though he did not specify what that might be.
Discussing the current election campaign in the US, Zarif said that Americans “are more inclined to choose a method that will serve their interests,” reiterating in different words what Tasnim said Khamenei had announced in June: that “if the threats of tearing [up the] JCPOA made by the US presidential nominees are carried out, the Islamic Republic will set the JCPOA ablaze.”
The declaration in question was made in response to a statement during the primaries by Trump, who said that, if elected president, he would “rip up” the nuclear deal.
In an interview last month with the Daily Caller, Trump’s top foreign policy adviser Dr. Walid Phares dismissed this as rhetorical.
“No, he’s not going to get rid of an agreement that has the institutional signature of the United States,” Phares said. “[Trump] is a man of institutions. But he’s going to look back on it the institutional way. He’s said, so far that he doesn’t like this deal and that it was poorly negotiated. Once elected, he’s going to renegotiate it after talking through it with his advisers. One of the clear possibilities is he will send it back to Congress. The reaction of the Iranian leadership will be the next phase. So he is not going to implement it as is, he is going to revise it after negotiating one on one with Iran or with a series of allies.”
As for Hillary Clinton, during her nomination acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention in late July, the now official presidential candidate said: “I’m proud that we put a lid on Iran’s nuclear program without firing a single shot – now we have to enforce it, and keep supporting Israel’s security.”
As The Algemeiner reported, however, Germany’s domestic intelligence agency revealed that, since it signed the JCPOA in July 2015, Iran has increased its efforts to obtain materials used for nuclear weapons.