(photo credit: REUTERS)
WASHINGTON – Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani lashed out at the US on Friday after its president, Donald Trump, threatened to unilaterally change the terms on its nuclear deal with world powers through an act of Congress.
“Iran will not hesitate to give them a fitting response,” Rouhani said in a speech to the nation. “With your incorrect words, you made us more united than ever.”
Trump was unaware “that no clauses or bills can be added to the JCPOA,” Rouhani said, using the acronym for the 2015 nuclear accord.
Trump hopes Congress will pass a law that would trigger new sanctions on the Islamic Republic for behavior not addressed in the nuclear deal.
Rouhani cited European criticism of Trump’s Friday speech and said “America is now, more than ever, isolated.”
“The government of the United States is against the people of the region, against the people of Iran, and the oppressed nations,” he said, charging the US with hypocrisy for allegedly helping Israel develop its own nuclear weapons program.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani fires back at US President Donald Trump on Iran nuclear deal, October 7, 2017. (Reuters)
The Iranian president also cited Trump’s false claim in the 2016 presidential campaign that the US government was behind the founding of Islamic State – a popular narrative in Iran.
Rouhani promised that his government will stick with the nuclear agreement so long as it works in the interests of the Iranian people.
And he noted that, despite Trump’s campaign rhetoric, even he was not yet willing to withdraw from the nuclear accord outright.
Trump’s speech, Rouhani said, “showed the JCPOA is much stronger than what this gentleman thought of the deal in the presidential campaign.”
A statement from Iran’s Foreign Ministry in English reinforced Rouhani’s argument.
“The JCPOA is a valid international instrument and an outstanding achievement in contemporary diplomacy.
It cannot be renegotiated or altered,” the statement reads. “The nuclear deal is not a bilateral agreement that can be annulled by unilateral action.
“Today, the United States is more isolated globally than ever before, and the veracity of Iran’s policies and positions have become evident to the international community,” it continues, further threatening that US action against its Revolutionary Guard Corps – the country’s strongest military wing, and its largest economic entity – would “constitute a strategic mistake.”