Ali Larijani : Iran to Revise Compliance with Nuclear Deal if Tehran Is Deprived of its Benefits

Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani warned that his country will revise its loyalty to the 2015 nuclear deal with the world powers if the U.S. administration continues pressures and attempts to deprive Tehran of its benefits, Fars News reports.

“We are a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency and have accepted certain undertakings in the nuclear deal and we have paid a high price in the nuclear deal. If (U.S. President Donald) Trump’s incorrect behavior creates a situation in which we don’t use the benefits of the nuclear deal and only pay the price, we will certainly review this issue,” Larijani said in a meeting with Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) Lassina Zerbo in Russia on Sunday.

According to Mehr News Agency, he went on to add, “the fatwa of the Iranian Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, is not only on the prohibition of the use of nuclear weapons, but the use of any weapon of mass destruction, including biological and chemical weapons.”

“The fatwa of our Eminent Leader is not merely prohibiting nuclear weapons, but it also forbids the use of all weapons of mass destruction, including biological and chemical weapons.”

Larijani further referred to the IAEA’s confirmation of Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA, saying it is within the responsibilities of the Agency to decide on Iran’s compliance not President Trump and the U.S. Congress.

Zerbo, for his part, underlined that the nuclear deal was the most important international agreement signed in the past 10 years, adding that all parties to the deal should try to protect it and no country should attempt to annul the agreement. He said Ayatollah Khamenei’s fatwa on the prohibition of atomic weapons is “very important,” adding no country should try to scuttle the JCPOA, Press TV reports.

His remarks came after Trump delivered a speech on Friday, outlining Washington’s strategy on Iran and saying his administration “cannot and will not” certify the agreement even as the United Nations and other world countries support it.

Trump had already endorsed the agreement twice but on Friday he handed its fate to the U.S. Congress, entrusting the landmark deal’s future to some of its staunchest critics. After Trump’s speech, the UK, France, Russia, China, and Germany, which are the other parties to the accord, reiterated their continued commitment to it.

Larijani’s comments are not in line with  the statement that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani gave about a week ago saying it should not bother Iran if the United States withdraws from the nuclear deal.

“If any side fails to stand committed to the deal, it would be tarnishing its own reputation. If the ill-wishing side, our rival and enemy, leaves an agreement, this is not a defeat for us, but rather a defeat for the opposite side,” he said.

That was quite different from what Rouhani said in August when Iran was threatening to back out of the nuclear deal over unrelated U.S. sanctions on its ballistic missile program, Breitbart writes.

“If America wants to go back to the experience (of imposing sanctions), Iran would certainly return in a short time – not a week or a month but within hours – to conditions more advanced than before the start of negotiations,” Rouhani thundered on that occasion, as transcribed by Reuters.

Of course, needling Rouhani for hypocrisy misses the larger point, which is that Iran sees the nuclear deal as an entirely one-sided agreement that binds the United States in numerous ways and completely shields Iran from sanctions, no matter what it does. That is how Iran arrives at the conclusion that its ballistic missile program is not prohibited by the nuclear deal, but sanctions against its missile program are.

Rouhani’s remarks also highlighted a major criticism of the nuclear deal, which is that it gives Iran political cover for its sponsorship of terrorism, aggressive regional ambitions, and ongoing pursuit of nuclear weapons.