President Trump is set to announce the fate of the Iran nuclear agreement on Tuesday afternoon, but moments before he takes to the stage Iran’s president looks to offer a bit of cautionary advice.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warns the United States could face “some problems,” should Trump decide to pull out of the deal.
Per ABC News:
Without directly naming Trump, Hassan Rouhani’s remarks at a petroleum conference in Tehran represented the first official Iranian comment on the U.S. president’s overnight tweet that he’d make an announcement on the deal Tuesday.
“It is possible that we will face some problems for two or three months, but we will pass through this,” Rouhani said.
Rouhani also stressed Iran wants to keep “working with the world and constructive engagement with the world.” That appeared to be a nod to Europe, which has struck a series of business deals with Iran since the landmark 2015 nuclear deal.
Iran likely hopes the European Union will pass laws to protect European firms from any potential U.S. sanctions.
President Trump is also under fire from Iran’s first vice president, Eshaq Jahangiri, who said pulling from the deal would ruin the United States’ integrity and would make future deals nearly impossible. Jahangiri could soon lead his country as he is reportedly a presidential contender in Iran’s 2021 election.
“Today, the biggest power in the world is yelling that it does not accept it (the deal),” Jahangiri said, per the report. “It’s up to them what to do with the deal, but (from now on) naive individuals would accept to enter talks with such a country.”
As for whether or not his country is prepared to have the deal nixed and economic sanctions implemented again, Jahangiri said his country is ready.
“We are ready and have plan for managing the country under any circumstance,” he said.
Jahangiri’s comments suggest a coming political turn against any rapprochement with the West if Trump pulls out of the deal, especially as he is a reformist — a politician who advocates for change to Iran’s theocratic government. It also comes as Trump is set to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un later this year, where negotiations will undoubtedly include talks about the Asian country’s atomic weapons program.
Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal imposed restrictions on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program in return for the lifting of most of the U.S. and international sanctions against Tehran.
However, the deal came with time limits and did not address Iran’s ballistic missile program or its regional policies. Trump has repeatedly pointed at that, while referring to the accord as the “worst deal ever.” However, proponents of the deal have said those time limits were to encourage more discussion with Iran in the future that could grow into addressing those other concerns.
Rouhani, shown smiling and addressing an audience at a table at the expo Tuesday, sought to show calm to Iranians. Meanwhile, Iran’s parliament speaker Ali Larijani reportedly said Trump pulling out of the deal would increase unity among Iranians. Iran’s parliament discussed the possible U.S. pullout in a closed session on Tuesday.
According to some reports, Trump is planning to exit the agreement. Some reports indicated Trump may delay the exit to give European allies more time to rework the deal – perhaps enough of a renegotiation could persuade Trump to keep the deal. Trump’s decision will be announced at the White House on 2:00 p.m. EST.
I will be announcing my decision on the Iran Deal tomorrow from the White House at 2:00pm.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 7, 2018