Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who is only the titular leader of the Islamic republic behind Supreme Leader Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei, said that Wednesday during an address to the UN General Assembly that the deal Tehran negotiated with the Obama administration would “collapse” if President Trump pulls out of it.
“This is a building the frame of which, if you take out a single brick, the entire building will collapse,” he said. “This issue must be understood by the American officials,” he added. “Either the JCPOA will remain as it is in its entirety or it will cease to exist.”
That appears to be a tacit admission that Iran would begin anew aggressive efforts to develop a nuclear weapons capability.
Rouhani’s remarks are a declaration that the deal cannot be renegotiated to address U.S. concerns and cannot be reconstituted without the United States.
Rouhani also suggested that if the United States abrogates the terms of the deal, Iran could resume larger-scale uranium-enrichment activities — a move likely to rekindle international fears that Tehran would be able to accelerate the development of nuclear weapons.
“If anyone exits the agreement and breaks their commitment, it means our hand is completely open to take any action that we see as beneficial to our country,” Rouhani said.
Trump is said to have decided he will not recertify that Iran is complying with terms of the agreement, though officially he has until Oct. 15 to do so. Trump certified that Iran was in compliance with the agreement earlier this year.
Since then, however, Western intelligence reports have claimed that Iran is covertly attempting to obtain nuclear and missile technologies, which — if true — would represent a violation of the agreement. And it’s not at all certain that Trump, who has been a regular, vocal critic of the deal and which he described as “an embarrassment to the United States” earlier this week during his first address to the UN, is convinced the Iranians wouldn’t cheat on the agreement like the North Koreans did on the Agreed Framework negotiated by the Clinton administration.
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