Netanyahu 'Not Impressed' By Iranian Foreign Minister's Words


Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned against the US' attempt to alter the 2015 nuclear deal, saying such a move would send a "very risky message" to the world that countries should never negotiate with the United States, while threatening to renew the enrichment of uranium.

The latest escalation in rhetoric follows the statement by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday that Iran's atomic agency was ready with "expected and unexpected" reactions if Washington ditches the 2015 nuclear deal, as US President Donald Trump has threatened to do.

President Trump has been critical of the deal negotiated under former President Barack Obama, demanding it be fixed or the USA will withdraw the pact and sanctions will be reinstated.

Tehran maintains its nuclear program was peaceful, and Zarif said if Iran resumed its nuclear activities, it would not be for the goal of developing a nuclear weapon.

The previous Barack Obama administration tried to reach a peace deal with Iran and a pact was reached between Tehran, Washington and five other world powers to curb Iran's nuclear programme in lieu of relief to its economy which was put under stress by sanctions.

A USA push to change the Iran nuclear deal was sending a "very unsafe message" that countries should never negotiate with Washington, Iran's foreign minister warned as us and North Korean leaders prepared to meet for denuclearization talks.

"It is important for Iran to receive the benefits of the agreement, and there is no way that Iran would do a one-sided implementation of the agreement", he said. "But whatever that decision will be, it won't be very pleasant to the United States". He noted that CIA Director Mike Pompeo recently said in testimony at his confirmation hearing to become secretary of state that Iran was not "racing towards a bomb".

Zarif also said it was "highly unlikely" that Iran would stay inside the agreement if the U.S. effectively pulled out.

"I do think if nothing changes with the three European members we're dealing with right now on a framework", Corker said on ABC's "This Week" Sunday, "I do think he will move away from the agreement on May 12".

As the final countdown begins to the next sanctions waiver deadline, and amid Trump's grand posturing, European states are scrambling to see what can be done to salvage matters should the USA president stand by his word and pull the rug out from under the deal.

In recent weeks, Iranian officials have said that in the absence of the deal, they would feel free to install and operate thousands of new uranium centrifuges that could, in theory, produce weapons-grade material.

"You do not engage in negotiations by exercising disrespect for a country, for its people, for its government", he said. "If they want to fear anything its up to them", Zarif said.

His trip also comes at a time of rising tensions in the Middle East, where Iran has expanded its activities in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and of Hezbollah, the Lebanese militia whose fighters are aiding Assad in a civil war.