Just ahead of U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement Monday that he will come to a decision on the fate of the Iran nuclear deal “very soon,” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned in an interview on CNN that “[e]xiting such an agreement would carry a high cost for the United States of America.”
“Whatever line Netanyahu uses to compel Trump to quit the nuclear deal, the end result is inescapable: Killing the deal will put the U.S. back on a path to war with Iran.”
—Trita Parsi, National Iranian American Council”I do not believe Americans would be willing to pay such a high cost for something that will be useless for them,” Rouhani added. Scrapping the nuclear accord, he concluded, would “yield no results for the United States but at the same time it will generally decrease and cut away and chip away at international trust.”
Rouhani’s comments came just a day prior to the start of the 2017 United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York, where Trump met on Monday with another ardent opponent of the nuclear accord, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The remarks also came amid a tense back and forth between the U.S. and Iran, with each nation accusing the other of violating the terms and “the spirit” of the nuclear deal.
Trump, for his part, has reportedly been working to find any possible justification for abandoning the agreement—efforts critics have characterized as overt and potentially disastrous “sabotage”—despite repeated insistence (pdf) from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that Iran is complying with the accord.
In a statement signed by 76 former political, diplomatic, and military leaders on Monday, the European Leadership Network, a non-profit based in London, sided with Rouhani, arguing that “any unilateral U.S. action that jeopardizes the Iran nuclear deal would harm U.S.-Europe relations, particularly if U.S. nuclear-related sanctions on Iran were resumed.”
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