Zarif warns Iran could walk away from nuclear deal

September 24, 2017 - 20:11

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that his country has a number of options if the U.S. quits the 2015 nuclear deal including walking away from the agreement.

“Iran has a number of options which include walking away from the deal and going back with great speed with its nuclear program which will remain peaceful, but we will not accept the limitations that we voluntarily accepted on our nuclear program,” he told CNN in an interview aired on Sunday.

He also said that the “only authority that has been recognized in the nuclear deal to verify the deal is the IAEA [the International Atomic Energy Agency]”.

In his first speech at the UN General Assembly last week Donald Trump as president made the harshest attack against the July 2015 nuclear deal, saying it was an “embarrassment” to the United States and hinted that he may not recertify the agreement when it comes up for a mid-October deadline.

Trump also accused Iran of engaging in “destabilizing activities” in the region, saying Iran’s “support for terror is in stark contrast to the recent commitments of many of its neighbors to fight terrorism and halt its financing.”

‘It is in interests of U.S. to look at realities’

When asked what is his message to President Trump, Zarif said, “I think it is in the interests of the U.S. to look at the realities. There are no alternative reality. The realities in our region are crystal clear. They have been for the last 40 years and the U.S. unfortunately decided to neglect those realities.”

“We have said and we have proven that missiles are for defense. We go back to a history when our cities were showered with Saddam Hussein’s missiles. But at that time Saddam Hussein was a sweetheart for the U.S. and some western countries and nobody raised eyebrows for Saddam Hussein’s use of missiles.”

‘Iran needs to develop its own defense power’

Zarif also said defended Tehran’s missile program saying “Iran has defensive needs and needs to develop its own defensive (capabilities)”.

“Iran is not buying 400 billion dollars of so-called beautiful military equipment from the U.S.,” he added.

He was referring to Trump’s remarks before a meeting with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in May, when he said, “One of the things we will discuss is the purchase of lots of beautiful military equipment because nobody makes it like the United States.”

Zarif said, “We have said and we have proven that missiles are for defense. We go back to a history when our cities were showered with Saddam Hussein’s missiles. But at that time Saddam Hussein was a sweetheart for the U.S. and some western countries and nobody raised eyebrows for Saddam Hussein’s use of missiles.”

NA/PA
 

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