LONDON - Donald Trump will regret it if he pulls out of the nuclear deal with Iran, President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday, warning the US president that the Iranian response would be stronger than he thinks.
US sanctions that were lifted under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) signed in 2015 will resume unless Trump again waives them on May 12. Trump has effectively set that as a deadline for European powers to "fix the terrible flaws" of the deal.
"The new US president - who has big claims and many ups and downs in his words and actions - has been trying for 15 months to break the JCPOA ... but the structure of the JCPOA is so strong that it has not been shaken by such quakes," Rouhani said in a speech broadcast live on state television. "Iran will not violate the nuclear deal, but if the United States withdraws from the deal, they will surely regret it. Our response will be stronger than what they imagine and they would see that within a week."
Iran has warned that it will ramp up its nuclear program if the JCOPA collapses, to achieve a more advanced level than before the deal.
Rouhani was speaking as Tehran marked National Nuclear Technology Day and unveiled what it said were its latest nuclear achievements including a nuclear battery and centrifuges for the oil industry.
France, Britain and Germany are seeking to persuade their EU partners to back new sanctions on Iran, mainly on its missile program, as a way to persuade Trump to stick with the nuclear deal that put curbs on Iran's nuclear activities in return for sanctions relief.
On Sunday Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran's atomic energy organization said Iran was capable of restoring 20-percent uranium enrichment at its Fordow nuclear facility in just four days.
"If senior Islamic Republic officials issue an order to resume the 20 percent enrichment, we can do it in Fordow within four days," Salehi told reporters in Tehran.
He said his statement should be seen as a warning by those who favor nixing the nuclear deal, a reference to Trump and Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the Iran threat at Jerusalem Post's 2017 Diplomatic Conference, December 6, 2017