Zarif to Trump: U.S. Will Pay High Price for Annulling Nuclear Deal

By Ahmad Majidyar | Fellow and Director of IranObserved Project - The Middle East Institute | Aug 10, 2017
Zarif to Trump: U.S. Will Pay High Price for Annulling Nuclear Deal

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has warned the Trump administration that the United States will pay a high price if it decides to walk away from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – the nuclear deal Iran signed with world powers two years ago. He reportedly made the remarks in a meeting with members of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee. According to Hossein Naqavi Hosseini, a member of the parliamentary committee, the top Iranian diplomat emphasized that the Rouhani government will try to defuse and “manage the tensions with the U.S.”

Comment: Tension between Tehran and Washington has peaked to a new high after President Donald Trump earlier this month signed a congressional bill that imposes new sanctions against Iran. Tehran said the move violated the J.C.P.O.A., and Zarif warned that his government would take legal measures against Washington at the United Nations. Zarif, who is the architect of the nuclear deal, has recently been lobbying with European countries to dissuade the Trump administration from canceling the nuclear accord. But he has in the past stressed that if Washington annuls the deal, “Iran too will have options at its disposal” and will “surprise” Trump. “If America reneges on the deal to the level that the continuation of the J.C.P.O.A. [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] harms our national interests,” he said in March, “the Islamic Republic of Iran is completely ready to return to the pre-J.C.P.O.A. situation and will be even stronger” – suggesting that Tehran will resume nuclear enrichment.

On Wednesday, the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and foreign Policy Committee also passed an anti-U.S. bill that obliges the government to increase funding for the country’s missile program and for Quds Force’s activities to counter U.S. interests in the Middle East.