Iran’s Rouhani: West will regret collapse of nuclear deal

Iran’s president accuses US of sabotaging 2015 pact as other officials say Tehran’s missile programme is non-negotiable.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has warned the West will come to “regret” the day the nuclear agreement collapses, laying blame on the United States for trying to sabotage the historic deal.

Rouhani’s comment came as a senior Revolutionary Guard official vowed on Tuesday that Iran will defy pressure to scale back the country’s ballistic missile programme – part of a new push by US President Donald Trump to renegotiate the original pact signed in 2015.

Following a meeting with France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in Tehran on Monday, Rouhani said while Iran is ready for any “unfavourable” consequences, negotiations and diplomacy remain the best options to save the agreement.

“Remaining committed to the accord would prove to the world that the negotiation and diplomacy is the best way to solve problems, but the collapse of the deal means that political talks are a waste of time,” he said.

Rouhani stressed it is necessary for all signatories of the deal to adhere to their commitments, adding Tehran will never be the first party to violate the agreement, Tasnim News agency quoted him as saying.

Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, also said Europe should compel the US to abide by the deal, “rather than trying to appease” Washington.

Le Drian earlier said Iran “risks new sanctions” if it does not address concerns on its ballistic missile programme.

Under the deal signed in Vienna between Iran and six world powers – the US, Russia, Germany, France, Britain and China, as well as the European Union – Tehran scaled back the country’s uranium enrichment programme.

In exchange, UN sanctions were lifted, allowing Iran to resume trading oil and gas on the international market. Aljazeera.com

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