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January 20, 2017 3:33 pm

Iran Threatens Trump Ahead of Inauguration: If He Nixes Nuclear Deal, We’ll Surprise Him the Same Way He Likes to Surprise Others

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Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Iran will retaliate if newly inaugurated US President Donald Trump nixes the July 2015 nuclear agreement, the Islamic Republic’s top diplomat said this week, according to the semi-official state news agency Mehr.

“We will surprise him the same way he likes to surprise the others,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was quoted as saying during a visit to Myanmar.

“It is up to the US to decide to behave in front of the international community,” Zarif stated. “It seems the others are worried about Trump’s in-campaigning remarks, especially about the issue of Palestine and some other issues, but we are not at all worried, and we wait to see.”

Referring to the nuclear deal agreed to a year and a half ago by Iran and six world powers, including the US, Zarif said, “Whatever Trump does, does not concern us at all, as we have our own options. However, it is an international agreement which demands the full commitment of the whole world.”

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On Tuesday, as reported by The Algemeiner, Zarif said there had been no communication between Iran and Trump’s transition team.

The fate of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in the Trump era remains unclear.

In a pre-election interview with The Algemeiner in early November, senior Trump adviser David Friedman — who has since been picked to serve as the next US ambassador to Israel — said a Trump administration would “reengage with the world powers in a way that seeks to reintroduce leverage on Iran.”

Ilan Berman — vice president of the Washington, DC-based conservative think tank the American Foreign Policy Council — told The Algemeiner in mid-November that Iran feared it could be the “big loser” from Trump’s electoral victory over Hillary Clinton.

In a Time magazine op-ed published on Thursday, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and ex-State Department official Dennis Ross — both active in the United Against Nuclear Iran advocacy group — wrote that the Trump administration “should not rip up the [nuclear] deal on day one — that would make US actions and not destabilizing and threatening Iranian behaviors the issue. We need to isolate Iran, not ourselves. But we must raise the costs of continued Iranian intransigence, and to that end, the incoming Trump administration should adopt a more expansive strategy towards Tehran: namely by addressing those vital issues beyond the scope of the agreement, specifically Iran’s chronic regional meddling.”

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