Iran's nuclear chief warns against undermining nuclear deal

Iran's nuclear chief warns against undermining nuclear deal
Iran's nuclear chief has said Iran doesn't want to see its nuclear deal with the US collapse, as rhetoric and threats between the two countries escalate.
2 min read
10 October, 2017
Tehran has been concerned about the Trump administration's hostility towards the nuclear deal [AFP]

Iran's nuclear agency warned Washington on Tuesday against undermining the 2015 nuclear deal, saying international non-proliferation efforts would suffer, and would tarnish Washington's standing in the world.

Iran's nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi told an international conference on enhancing nuclear safety that Washington's current "delusionary negative postures do not augur well" for keeping the deal alive.

He said Iran didn't want to see the deal collapse but that "much more is at stake for the entire international community than the national interests of Iran".

US President Donald Trump is set to deliver a speech on Iran this week in which he is expected to make a decision on whether to continue with a landmark 2015 agreement with Tehran.

Trump might announce that the country's influential paramilitary Revolutionary Guards Corps will be targeted with new sanctions.

Salehi praised the progress that had been made since the 2015 deal, saying non-proliferation and disarmament efforts had benefited worldwide. He called it "simply too precious to be allowed to be undermined or weakened".

"The failure of the nuclear deal will undermine the political credibility and international stature of the US in this tumultuous political environment," Salhehi warned.

He concluded that he hoped "common sense shall prevail".

The Trump administration has faced two 90-day certification deadlines to state whether Iran is meeting the conditions needed to continue being sanctions relief under the deal and has both times backed away from a showdown.

However Trump has more recently has said he does not expect to certify Iran's compliance with the October deadline looming.

On Monday, the European Union's foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, praised the 2015 deal as a "win-win" solution that was working.

"We settled a milestone for non-proliferation and we prevented a dangerous devastating military escalation," she told the conference via video message.

She added that the International Atomic Energy Agency had certified Iran's compliance with the deal, including via inspections, eight times since it was signed.

Mogherini warned that with rising nuclear tensions on the Korean peninsula, with the US and North Korea embroiled in a war of words.

"We have an interest and a responsibility and a duty to preserve the nuclear deal with Iran" and strengthening, not weakening the nonproliferation regime, she said.