Rouhani: Iran May Remain Part of Nuclear Accord
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday that, if its interests were protected, Tehran would remain committed to its 2015 nuclear deal, which his foreign minister hoped could be redesigned without Washington.
Tuesday’s US withdrawal from the accord was a “violation of morals,” Rouhani said in remarks carried by state television.
“If the remaining five countries continue to abide by the agreement, Iran will remain in the deal despite the will of America,” he said during a meeting with Sri Lanka’s president.
Rouhani made similarly comments on Tuesday, and on Saturday his foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, embarked on a tour of other signatory nations to the accord, state media reported, in an effort to save it.
After arriving in Beijing on Sunday, Zarif said: “We hope that with this visit to China and other countries we will be able to construct a clear future design for the comprehensive (nuclear) agreement.”
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said he believed Zarif’s tour would “improve countries’… understanding of Iran’s position.” and help Tehran protect its “legitimate national interests.”
Rouhani has said Iran would stay committed to the deal, which Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia also signed, provided those powers could ensure Iran was protected from sanctions against key sectors of its economy such as oil.
The three European states have also recommitted to the agreement, but a senior Iranian cleric, Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, told worshippers at Tehran University on Friday that Europe was not to be trusted.
The head of the elite Revolutionary Guards also warned against relying on foreign powers to guarantee Iran‘s interests.
“America’s exit aims to break the Iranian people’s resistance, which is not new …but today’s problem is not US sanctions, it’s that some officials look towards outside rather than looking at domestic potentials,” Guards commander General Mohammad Ali Jafari said, the state news agency IRNA reported.
On Wednesday, Jafari had cast doubt on European nations’ ability to save the nuclear accord.