Iran could quit nuclear deal in 'hours' if US continues adding sanctions

Iran's President has warned that it could restart its nuclear programme ‘within hours’ if the United States imposes any more new sanctions

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said the country did prefer to stick with the nuclear deal
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said the country did prefer to stick with the nuclear deal

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani warned on Tuesday that Iran could abandon its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers within hours if the United States keeps on imposing new sanctions as he outlined plans for his new term.

In a speech to parliament, he also hit out at US counterpart Donald Trump saying that he had shown the world that Washington was "not a good partner".

"If America wants to go back to the experience (of imposing sanctions), Iran would certainly return in a short time - not a week or a month but within hours - to conditions more advanced than before the start of negotiations," Rouhani said

He added that Iran did prefer to stick with the nuclear deal, which he called "a model of victory for peace and diplomacy over war and unilateralism" but that this was not the "only option".

Rouhani's comments come with the nuclear deal under mounting pressure after Tehran carried out missile tests and strikes, and Washington imposed new sanctions - with each accusing the other of violating the spirit of the agreement.

Iran says new sanctions that the United States has imposed on it breach the agreement it reached in 2015 with the United States, Russia, China and three European powers in which it agreed to curb its nuclear work in return for the lifting of most sanctions.

The US Treasury imposed sanctions on six Iranian firms in late July for their role in the development of a ballistic missile programme after Tehran launched a rocket capable of putting a satellite into orbit.

In early August, US President Donald Trump signed into law new sanctions on Iran, Russia and North Korea passed by the US Congress. The sanctions in that bill also target Iran's missile programmes as well as human rights abuses.

Iran's parliament on Sunday approved more than half a billion dollars in funding for the country's missile programme and foreign operations of the elite Revolutionary Guards in response to the new US sanctions.

Rouhani also spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday night, vowing to build on their joint military efforts across the region.

"Tehran welcomes the active presence of Russia's investors... in major infrastructure projects including in the fields of industry and energy," his office said.

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