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Iran threatens to ditch nuclear deal
Rouhani suggested that he might have Iran abandon the deal if the United States keeps enacting new sanctions against the country.
By Kara Menard
Jan 15, 2018

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WASHINGTON D.C. — The United States' imposition of new sanctions on Iran gives Iran little incentive to hold up its end of the 2015 U.S.-Iranian nuclear deal, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Tuesday in a speech to parliament outlining his new term. Rouhani suggested that he might have Iran abandon the deal if the United States keeps enacting new sanctions against the country.

A renunciation of the deal wouldn't be a lengthy process, he added: It could be done within hours, unless Washington's policy toward Iran quickly reverses course.

"Those who try to return to the language of threats and sanctions are prisoners of their past delusions," he said in the televised address. "If they want to go back to that experience, definitely in a short time -- not weeks or months, but in the scale of hours and days -- we will return to our previous situation very much stronger."

The U.S. Congress approved legislation this summer to put new sanctions on Iran, along with North Korea and Russia. The new Iran sanctions were a response to non-nuclear missile tests and strikes that U.S. officials had argued were a violation of the spirit of the agreement.

Under the agreement, Iran would suspend nuclear-enrichment activities and reduce most of its nuclear material stockpiles and, in return, the United States would lift existing sanctions on Iran. Sanctions relief would only happen after a period of ongoing inspections of Iranian weapons facilities to confirm compliance with the accord.

President Trump denounced the deal while campaigning for president and announced that it was under "review" after taking office. Rouhani noted Trump's hostility to the deal and also Trump's abandonment of other global accords--these prove that the United States is "not a reliable partner," Rouhani said.