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May 6, 2018 11:12 am

Iranian President Rouhani Assails ‘Vicious Zionist Regime’ in Key Speech Defending Nuclear Deal

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani attending Army Day ceremonies in Tehran on April 18. Photo: Tasnim News Agency via Reuters.

The Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, on Sunday denounced “Zionist propaganda” and the “vicious Zionist regime” in an angry speech warning the US that it would “soon regret” any decision by President Donald Trump later this month to terminate the sanctions waivers on Iran enabled by the July 2015 nuclear deal.

With speculation rising that Trump will exit the nuclear deal as a May 12 recertification deadline approaches – a move that would leave Iran’s oil exports and foreign assets vulnerable to toughened US economic sanctions once again – Rouhani told a rally in the north-eastern city of Sabvezar that the Tehran regime has made “plans to resist any decision by Trump on the nuclear accord.”

Rouhani underlined that “orders have been issued to the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran.” Without elaborating on details, he added: “A few days ago, I spoke with senior officials of the organization about the programs ahead.”

“If the US exits the JCPOA, it will soon regret it,” Rouhani declared.

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Attacking what he called “American and Zionist propaganda against the great and brave nation of Iran,” Rouhani affirmed that Iran would “not negotiate with anyone about our weapons and defenses, and we will make and store as many weapons, facilities and missiles as we need.” Iran’s ballistic missile program is not addressed by the deal, and the Shia Islamist regime has carried out more than 20 ballistic missile tests since the JCPOA – the technical name for the 2015 nuclear deal – was first announced.

Rouhani, one of the JCPOA’s main architects and advocates, complained that while “the world” had praised Iran for its commitment to the deal,  “the new US administration, the vicious Zionist Regime and Saudi Arabia” were determined to weaken it fatally. Last Monday, Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, unveiled a trove of captured Iranian intelligence which he said demonstrated that the JCPOA leaves Tehran with “a clear path to an atomic arsenal.”

Rouhani also restated Iran’s official belief that the deadly ISIS terror organization is a front for the US, telling Trump, “We will not allow you to create a Da’esh in this area every day and clash with the nations of the region.”

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