TOYKO (Dispatches) – A senior Iranian official on Friday warned the U.S. of serious ramifications of breaching the 2015 nuclear deal, saying Tehran is ready to respond to such an action.
The warning by Iran’s senior nuclear negotiator Abbas Araqchi came after U.S. President Donald Trump accused Tehran on Thursday of not "living up to the spirit” of the 2015 agreement which he described as "horrible.”
"I don't think Iran is in compliance," Trump told reporters at his private golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey. "I don't think they're living up to the spirit of the agreement."
"I think it’s a horrible agreement,” he said. "I think you'll see some very strong things taking place if they don't get themselves in compliance."
The International Atomic Energy Agency has time and again reported Iran to have abided by the terms of the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA.
In July, Trump reluctantly agreed for the second time to verify that Iran was in compliance, based on the recommendation of his national security team and the intelligence community’s collection and analysis.
But the tough-talking president commissioned a group of administration staffers to generate a rationale for declaring Iran in violation of the deal at the next 90-day review, Foreign Policy reported last month.
Trump told The Wall Street Journal in late July that he expected the "detailed studies” he had commissioned would validate his belief that Iran was "noncompliant.”
Experts say Trump’s actions risk "politicizing intelligence” and undermining the agreement.
"This is a dangerous place to go. At the most basic level, one would hope that foreign policy decisions with potentially dramatic consequences would be based on the best available facts, not political pretexts,” said David S. Cohen, who was also assistant secretary of the Treasury Department for terrorism and financial intelligence during the administration of President Barack Obama.
Addressing a meeting of Japan’s Sasakawa Peace Foundation on Friday, Araqchi said if any party to the deal violates its terms, they will have to pay a "serious cost.”
Araqchi denounced new U.S. sanctions against Iran over its missile program as "unacceptable,” saying Tehran’s missile program, which relies on the Iranian people’s capabilities, is solely defensive and deterrent.
The Iranian parliament is about to vote on a motion of retaliatory measures in the face of U.S. "acts of terror” and "adventurism” in the region.
The bill, passed by parliament’s Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy on Wednesday, will be voted on Sunday, said the panel’s spokesman Hussein Naqavi Husseini said in a Thursday interview with the IRIB.
It "takes into consideration all aspects of U.S. hostile measures in the region and their behavior in different areas, including acts of terrorism and human rights violations, will be put under close monitoring,” he said.
The bill allocates some $609 million to several state bodies, including the Foreign Ministry, Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, the Judiciary, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and its Quds Force, to monitor and probe U.S. actions in the region, the lawmaker said.
Iranian lawmakers passed the single-urgency motion with 93% of the votes, referring it to the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee for further consultation with different state organizations and legislative bodies, he added.
In Tokyo, Araqchi elaborated on Iran’s role in the Middle East, describing the Islamic Republic as the most stable and secure country in the tense region.
Iran, contrary to many other countries, gains power from its people, Araqchi said.
He went on to enumerate the key challenges facing the Middle East, including poverty and economic disparity, undemocratic regimes, extremism and terrorism as well as the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.
Araqchi described Takfiri terrorism as the main challenge in the Middle East, which jeopardizes the entire global community and called for a collective campaign by all countries to eradicate the phenomenon.