72013
Iran to Stay in Nuclear Deal Even If US Quits
Iran to Stay in Nuclear Deal Even If US Quits

Iran to Stay in Nuclear Deal Even If US Quits

If the nuclear agreement collapses, there could be no chances of settlement of North Korea’s nuclear issues, as it would be extremely difficult to convince Pyongyang to trust western countries
If the nuclear agreement is breached by the US, economically, Iran would face some difficulties, but politically the country would be gaining

Iran to Stay in Nuclear Deal Even If US Quits

Iran's nuclear chief said the country will continue to adhere to its 2015 nuclear deal obligations, even if US President Donald Trump makes good on his threat to pull out of the two-year pact.
Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, made the statement in an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel published on Friday.
Trump seems hell-bent on ditching the nuclear deal, which he has frequently hammered as a "disaster", and is currently seeking ways to stop fulfilling its end of the bargain.
His stance is at odds with that of other signatories to the deal, namely the UK, France, Germany, Russia and China.
Since coming to power in January, Trump has imposed a raft of sanctions against Iran, most notably a full-fledged package US Congress bill he signed into law early August.
Salehi said Iran is constantly assessing if it is worth staying bound to the nuclear agreement and its compliance is subject to cost-benefit analysis.
"If the US pulls out of the agreement and the other countries stay committed, then Iran would most probably remain committed to the agreement without the US," he said.
"But if the US leaves the treaty and Europe follows, then this deal will certainly collapse and Iran will go back to what it was before and, technically speaking, to a much higher level."
The nuclear chief was reiterating a warning by President Hassan Rouhani late last month that Iran could take its nuclear program to a level much more advanced than the beginning of the nuclear talks in 2013 within days, if the US keeps on expanding sanctions.
Under the US law, the State Department must notify Congress every 90 days of Iran's compliance with the nuclear deal.
Trump has said he expects to declare Iran non-compliant by mid-October, the deadline for the next certification. This is while the UN nuclear watchdog and the US State Department have several times reported that Tehran has complied with the accord.
Salehi said if Trump really declares Iran to be non-compliant, the situation will become "very different".
If so, the Congress will have 60 days to debate whether to re-impose some or all unilateral US sanctions that were suspended when the deal went into effect in January 2016.
"If the US is refusing to waive the sanctions connected to the nuclear activities of Iran, it would be significant nonperformance on their side" that entitles Iran to stop fulfilling parts or all of its commitments under the deal, he said.

  Other Sides Lose More
Salehi said he believes other signatories to the deal would lose more than Iran, if the deal falls apart.
"If the nuclear agreement is breached, economically, we would face some difficulties, but politically we would be gaining," he said, adding that the US violation of the deal will prove to Iranians that the US is untrustworthy and will unite them against the bullying power.
The AEOI chief said if the nuclear agreement collapses, there could be no chances of settlement of North Korea's nuclear issues, as it would be extremely difficult to convince Pyongyang to trust western countries.
"It would also undermine the integrity of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty," he said, referring to the UN pact aimed at halting the spread of nuclear weapons-making capability and guaranteeing the right to develop peaceful nuclear programs.
Salehi said the falling apart of the deal would be followed by a tsunami of outrage coming from countries interested in developing peaceful nuclear technology.

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