US President Donald Trump, a former businessman with no background in governance or diplomacy, threatened during his election campaign that he would “tear up” the nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or try to renegotiate its terms. He also referred to the accord as “the worst deal ever negotiated.”
While he has not proceeded to turn his campaign rhetoric into action since taking office on January 20, his continuing hostile stance toward Iran — including on Iranian missile tests — keeps the prospect of an American non-performance of the deal on the horizon.
Reacting to that probability, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, who advises the Iranian Parliament speaker on international affairs, said Iran would be ready to respond — effectively and immediately.
“If the Americans want to tear up the agreement, we are ready to burn it,” Amir-Abdollahian said in an exclusive interview with Russia’s RT television network.
He was echoing remarks by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, who had said when Trump was still campaigning for office that the Islamic Republic would burn the JCPOA if the US tore it up.
Amir-Abdollahian also reiterated the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program, stressing that the country never aimed to develop nuclear weapons.
Iran and the P5+1 countries — the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia plus Germany — signed the JCPOA on July 14, 2015 and started implementing it on January 16, 2016.
Under the agreement, limits were put on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for, among other things, the removal of all nuclear-related bans against the Islamic Republic.
The UN Security Council later unanimously endorsed a resolution that effectively turned the JCPOA into international law.
‘Iran's missile tests defensive’