Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has stated that Tehran would never look to obtain an atomic weapon, with or without the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), according to his website President.Ir.
“We have never sought nuclear weapons […]. With or without the nuclear deal we will never seek nuclear weapon […]. The European powers will be responsible for the consequences of violating the pact”, Rouhani added.
The statement comes a week after Rouhani rejected a proposal for a new "Trump deal" to resolve a nuclear spat as a “strange" offer, blaming the US President for his failure to deliver on promises.
The Iranian President commented on UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's previous suggestion to replace the JCPOA with "a Trump deal" in case the current nuclear agreement falls apart. POTUS responded by tweeting that he shares Johnson's standpoint.
It's Up to Europe Whether Iran Deal Will Remain, Zarif Says
His remarks followed Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warning that “it depends on Europe” whether the JCPOA will remain in place after the activation of the dispute resolution mechanism, which was earlier launched by the deal’s European signatories.
Last week, France, the UK and Germany confirmed that they had launched the Iran nuclear deal's dispute resolution mechanism, created in order to deal with possible violations of the JCPOA concluded between Iran, China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States, and Germany in 2015.
Several days prior to the announcement of the dispute resolution mechanism being activated, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a joint statement that they remained committed to the JCPOA, urging Tehran to cancel all measures that do not comply with the deal.
Zarif underlined that Iran is poised and ready to reverse its steps on scrapping the remaining limitations under the JCPOA as soon as Europe resumes compliance with the deal.
Iran Scales Back Its JCPOA Commitments
On 5 January, Tehran announced that it would no longer comply with the limits of the Iran nuclear deal, which was set to considerably reduce Iran's nuclear programme and its stockpile of medium- and low-enriched uranium in exchange for the removal of international sanctions.
The country announced that it would now start enriching uranium based on its technical needs and in a "peaceful" manner.
The announcement came amid a severe escalation of tensions in the region after top Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani was killed in a US drone strike on 3 January, which was authorised by President Donald Trump.
Trump signalled Washington’s unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA on 8 May, 2018, reinstating harsh economic sanctions against Iran. Exactly a year later, Tehran announced that it had started to suspend some of its obligations under the nuclear deal.