Rouhani’s Warning to Trump
The Iranian president’s remarks about the future of the Iran nuclear deal.
At a session of the Iranian cabinet on Wednesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had stern words for the United States. Stressing his ongoing support for the 2015 deal that curtailed Iran’s nuclear program, he argued that “American hard-liners, Zionism, and regional reactionaries” had undermined it. If the parties to the agreement, including the United States, do not “come to negotiation table and meet our main interests, especially in oil and banking fields,” he warned, Iran would resume production of highly enriched uranium.
His selected remarks, taken from the official site of the president of Iran, are below.
Speaking in a cabinet session on Wednesday, Hassan Rouhani said, “After the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the people of Iran took to the ballot box and announced with their 24 million votes that they favor moderation, prudence, and constructive interaction with the world.”
Stressing that the enemies of the Iranian nation have been against the Iran nuclear deal since the beginning, he said, “American hard-liners, Zionism, and regional reactionaries have been—and are—anti-JCPOA and anti-Iran.”
“Anyone can have criticisms toward anything, and this is the right of people, but animosity toward the JCPOA is—and has been—particular to Zionists, regional reactionaries, and American hard-liners,” he said.
The president also said, “The JCPOA is beneficial to the region and the entire world, and detrimental to the enemies of Iran, and this is why they have put all their efforts on destroying and wrecking down this glorious structure since 2015.”
“After the new U.S. administration took office, which was the result of an unconventional, unusual situation in this country, the administration did not live up to its commitments made to the voters regarding its slogan of peace and withdrawing forces from the region,” said Rouhani.
He added, “Today, an extremist group that is running the affairs in the White House has taken the authority from even the president, and this has made problems not only for the peoples of the region, but also America’s friends in Europe, Canada, and Mexico.”
Rouhani added, “Today, all those who were allies to the United States, and all enterprise owners and entrepreneurs around the world are suffering. In such conditions, Zionism, the reactionaries and internal groups in the U.S., especially AIPAC, put pressure on the government to withdraw from the JCPOA.”
Stating that, “JCPOA’s enemies are the same enemies to Iran and our people,” he said, “[President Donald] Trump’s goal was to provoke Iran to exit JCPOA immediately.”
The president of the Islamic Republic of Iran also went on to say, “It was Iran’s skill and wisdom that we didn’t play in his field.”
“We have given deadlines to JCPOA member states several times,” said Rouhani, adding, “Iran’s actions have been within the framework of JCPOA’s legal mechanisms.”
“Seven months ago, I announced at the United Nations that our strategy is commitment against commitment and violation against violation; today, we act based on those words,” he said.
He continued, “IAEA has announced 14 times that Iran has fully complied with its commitments,” adding, “Enjoying rights proportionate to commitments is an obvious principle.”
“I sent letters to JCPOA parties that we have waited one year at your request,” said the president, continuing, “This strategic patience indicates the Iranian nation’s power and greatness.”
He said, “Today is not end of JCPOA but the day of new step in its implementation,” adding, “Today, we stop selling our enriched uranium and heavy water deposits; this decision is for 60 days.”
“We will begin our two next steps regarding the level of enrichment and Arak Heavy Water Reactor if we don’t get the desired results,” added Rouhani.
“If the parties to JCPOA come to negotiation table and meet our main interests, especially in oil and banking fields, we will return to the previous point,” added Rouhani.
Rouhani went on to say, “We have explicitly told the other parties to JCPOA that if they take Iran’s case to [the U.N. Security Council], they will face a very decisive actions.”
Stating that, “Today we will announce a strategic and important national decision,” the president said, “JCPOA will be either win-win or lose-lose. We won’t let U.S. turn it into a win-lose situation.”
He continued, “JCPOA is still standing, but today, we showed the other side of the coin to the world,” adding, “We are announcing the reduction of our commitments, not withdrawal from it.”
Rouhani stated, “In a simpler language, we felt that there was a need for surgery, and the one-year-old painkillers were not enough; today’s action is a surgical procedure to save the JCPOA, not to end it, and we believe that if our nation and our system work integrated in this direction, the world receives the message of the nation of Iran well.”
He continued, “We always favor peace and moderation; we have never began violating an agreement and will not begin a war, but will give decisive response to any aggressor.”
The president of the Islamic Republic of Iran also went on to say, “We are still ready for negotiation within the framework of the JCPOA; not a word more or less.”
It is not acceptable that the JCPOA remains in action but the price is ours to pay, said the president, adding, “If the deal is important for security, peace, and development of the region, everyone must pay its price.”
He added, “Know that Iran is standing strong and we will put differences aside against U.S. pressures,” stressing that “Today, we chose diplomacy over war again.”