Sam Sholli| UPDATED: 01:52, Sun, Mar 18, 2018
DONALD Trump would be making a “panful mistake for the Americans” if he decides to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal, the foreign minister of Iran has warned.
Mohammad Javad Zarif’s warning follows Donald Trump threatening to unilaterally pull out of the deal
Mohammad Javad Zarif’s warning comes after the US President threatened to unilaterally pull out of the deal, formally named the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), if it is not revised.
Trump has before dismissed the deal as “the worst and most one-sided transaction Washington has ever entered into”.
Mr Zarif said: “Considering what has been envisaged in the JCPOA in the field of research and development and the Islamic Republic of Iran’s continued measures to develop its peaceful nuclear capability, if the US makes the mistake of exiting the JCPOA, it will definitely be a painful mistake for the Americans.
“It has been fully foreseen in the JCPOA what measures the Islamic Republic of Iran would carry out if it cannot reap the agreement’s economic benefits.”
Mr Zarif’s words have come amid reports Trump’s decision to fire US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and replace him with Mike Pompeo could have major implications for the the future of the Iran deal.
As CIA chief Mr Pompeo has steered clear of calls to scrap the landmark 2015 deal with Iran, which puts restrictions on its nuclear programme in exchange for the lifting of some sanctions.
He told the Foundation for Defence of Democracies last year: “We need even more intrusive inspection.
“The deal put us in a marginally better place with respect to inspection.
“But the Iranians have on multiple occasions been capable of presenting a continued threat through covert efforts to develop their nuclear program along multiple dimensions, right?
“The missile dimension, the weaponisation effort, the nuclear component itself.”
Daryl Kimball, Executive Director at the Arms Control Association and a regular contributor to the 38 North website, said: “Tillerson was a moderating influence on the administration’s foreign policy and his departure may have significant implications for the administration’s approach on key issues, including the Trump-Kim summit and the future of the Iran deal.
“While Pompeo is probably more trusted by Trump than Tillerson was, he has been far more hawkish about blowing up the Iran nuclear deal even though it is working and on the prospect of ‘regime change’ in North Korea.”
Mike Pompeo has been far more hawkish about blowing up the Iran nuclear deal, it has been claimed
Mr Kimball suggested it would be foolhardy to pull the plug on the Iran deal in the same month that he was likely to ask the North Koreans to sign up to a similar arrangement.
He added: “If Trump really wants to secure a deal with Kim Jong-un or use his May summit meeting to launch negotiations on the terms and timelines for North Korean denuclearisation, it would be foolhardy to decide that same month unilaterally discard the Iran nuclear deal, which Iran is complying with and which is effectively blocking Iran’s pathways to the bomb.
“The reality is that the US cannot unilaterally re-impose sanctions on Iran in an attempt to change the original terms of the agreement without violating the deal and opening the door for Iran to walk away what is an effective and vital non-proliferation agreement — and create a major breach without European allies who strongly support the Iran Deal.”