One week after US President Donald Trump announced Washington’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said that Tehran plans to “remain in the deal” provided that its national interests are protected.
Hassan Rouhani Photo Credit: EPA
In a meeting on Sunday with Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani revealed that Iran intends to remain committed to the deal, but only if the remaining signatory countries- France, England, Germany, Russia and China- promise to protect Iran’s economy from US sanctions.
His announcement follows an official statement released by Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Friday, in which Foreign Minister Javad Zarif warned that Iran would relaunch its nuclear program should the US impose new sanctions. “We will take all necessary measures to prepare for the enrichment of uranium with no restrictions,” Zarif said.
In spite of his threats, Zarif reportedly met with representatives from the remaining signatory countries- France, England, Germany, Russia and China- the following day in an attempt to bypass the US and discuss a nuclear deal without Washington, D.C.
China, for one, has indicated that it would support Iran’s reconciliatory efforts. According to Reuters, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that these meetings would help to improve the countries’ “understanding of Iran’s position” while ensuring that Tehran’s “legitimate national interests” are protected.
Trump’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal, formerly known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and brokered by former US President Barack Obama in 2015, was met with anger by the US’ European allies. Moving forward, it would appear that Tehran’s strategy will be to use their anger to Iran’s economic—and nuclear—advantage.