Iran on Trump and Nuclear Deal

December 6, 2016

On December 6, President Rouhani warned the incoming Trump administration against trying to renegotiate or tear up the nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). His speech at Tehran University, was broadcast nationally on state television. Other officials have yet to comment positively or negatively about Trump. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Iran will have to "wait and see" what his policy will be. Parliamentary Speaker Ali Larijani cautioned against "premature judgments." The following are remarks by Iranian officials on the president-elect. 

President Hassan Rouhani

"Some man has been elected in the United States. Any plans he might have will be revealed later on. We'll continue on our own path. He may desire many things, he may want to weaken the [Comprehensive] Joint Plan of Action, he may want to rip up the deal. Do you suppose we'll allow that? Will our nation allow that?"

 “But will we and our nation allow such a thing? America cannot influence our path of strength and endurance.”

"[Trump] wants to do many things, but none of his actions would affect us.”

“[The United States] may violate and is violating. There are two scenarios in respect to the recent example of extending the Iran sanctions act; if it comes to force it will be a clear and vivid breaching of the JCPOA, and they will see a harsh reaction from us, and our country is united in its reaction to breaching of the deal."

“Some are our friends and we have good relationship with them [other P5+1 countries that are party to the nuclear deal.”

“[But the United States] is our enemy, which is putting as much pressure on us as possible.”

“Even if the U.S. president signs the extension but waives it, we would still consider it a violation of the deal, and we would react.”

"By capitalizing on the dispute over Iran's nuclear issue, they want to persuade others that the Islamic Republic establishes a threat against security and stability of its neighbors as well as Europe and the global peace."

“Iran is the only country that, as our supreme leader [Ayatollah Ali Khamenei] stated, would neither mourn nor celebrate [Trump’s] coming to power.”

―Dec. 6, 2016, in a speech to students at Tehran University, according to the AP, The Guardian, Reuters, CNN, and Euronews (via) Youtube


Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

“We will have to wait and see what president-elect Trump, once inaugurated, will try to pursue as his policy.”

—Jan. 18, 2017, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland


Defense Minister IRGC Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan

“Even though a businessman, the assistants that ... [Trump] has chosen may map a different path for him, and this has led to unease, particularly among Persian Gulf countries.”

“Considering Trump's character and that he measures the cost of everything in dollars, it does not seem likely that he would take strong action against our country.”

“Enemies may want to impose a war on us based on false calculations and only taking into consideration their material capabilities...”

“Such a war would mean the destruction of the Zionist regime [Israel] ... and will engulf the whole region and could lead to a world war,”

“Among other consequences of the war, would be the destruction of the city-states on the southern shore of the Persian Gulf, because they lack popular support.”

―Dec. 11, 2016, according to Reuters


Parliamentary Speaker Ali Larijani

“Analyses and remarks about the U.S. president-elect should be more mature, and hasty remarks and premature judgments should be avoided until the Foreign Ministry takes a transparent stance,” 

―Nov. 14, 2016, according to the Tehran Times


Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi

It was a “positive” sign that Iran was not mentioned in Trump’s inauguration speech.

“The United States — it's more than 10,000 miles [16,000 kilometres] away from Iran, and we have never intended to manufacture missiles that would go that far.” [Salehi was responding to the new administration’s intention to develop a missile defense system that could counter North Korean and Iranian missiles.]

It is a "politicized" decision that is "against all rationality."

Iran will “act appropriately” if the United States pulls out of the nuclear deal.

"We did once before … that deal didn't work and Iran was able to go back to its nuclear activities with high speed."

"We can very easily snap back and go back … not only to where we were, but a much higher position technologically speaking."

"I don't want to see that day. I don't want to make a decision in that course, but we are prepared."

—Jan. 21, 2017, in an interview with CBC News


Photo credit: Donald Trump by Gage Skidmore via Flickr Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)