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Nuclear deal is ‘all or nothing’ for US, Iran foreign minister warns

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif during a joint press conference with U.K. Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Philip Hammond in Shahrbani Palace. (Hamed Malekpour/Wikimedia)
April 24, 2018

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on Monday gave President Trump an ultimatum regarding  the Iran nuclear deal and said the accord is “all or nothing,” the Hill reported.

Zarif tweeted out his remarks ahead of the first meeting between President Trump and French president Emmanuel Macron, and both leaders discussed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA.

“President Macron is correct in saying there’s no ‘Plan B’ on JCPOA,” Zarif tweeted. “It’s either all or nothing. European leaders should encourage President Trump not just to stay in the nuclear deal, but more importantly to begin implementing his part of the bargain in good faith.”

Trump throughout his presidency has criticized the Iran nuclear deal, calling it “insane,” “ridiculous” and “one of the worst deals” he has ever witnessed. Trump continues to threaten to pull out of the accord completely, leaving European allies – France, Germany and the United Kingdom – scrambling to find a happy medium in order to salvage the deal.

The President has imposed a May 12 deadline in order for the other participants to upgrade the deal and meet his demands, or the U.S. will leave the deal.

Iran has repeatedly stated that such a move would yield grave consequences for the U.S.

Earlier this month, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a live broadcast that the U.S. “will surely regret” such a decision.

“If the United States withdraws from the deal, they will surely regret it. Our response will be stronger than what they imagine and they would see that within a week,” Rouhani said.

Zarif had similar words on Sunday during CBS’s “Face the Nation” when he suggested a U.S. withdrawal would isolate the nation.

“Everybody has advised the administration that this is not a bilateral agreement between Iran and the United States, and withdrawing from it would be seen by the international community as […] an indication that the United States is not a reliable partner,” Zarif said. “Iran has many options and those options are not pleasant.”

On the kind of response that would possibly take place following a dismantling of the deal, Iran has promised to ramp up its nuclear program as quickly as possible.

Under the accord, Iran received sanctions relief in exchange for limiting its nuclear program, though Iran has done a poor job following the deal and continues to build its nuclear program. Iran insists that its efforts have been for research and technology, and that its missiles are purely defensive.