Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned US President Donald Trump on Tuesday to remain in the nuclear deal Tehran signed with world powers in 2015, or face “severe consequences.”
“I am telling those in the White House that if they do not live up to their commitments… the Iranian government will firmly react,” Rouhani said in a speech broadcast live on national television.
“If anyone betrays the deal, they should know that they would face severe consequences,” he told a cheering crowd of thousands gathered in the city of Tabriz during a visit to the area. “Iran is prepared for all possible situations,” he added.
The Iranian nation and government will "strongly resist" any plots by those who sit in the White House, he added, saying that Iran has prepared for "various scenarios" while it abided by its commitments under the deal.
Iran has warned it will ramp up its nuclear activities if the deal, which curbed its nuclear enrichment program in exchange for lifting international sanctions, collapses.
The US under President Donald Trump has repeatedly threatened to pull out of the historical agreement, which was struck between the Islamic Republic and the P5+1 group of countries, including Washington itself.
The deal removed nuclear-related sanctions against Tehran, which, in turn, changed some aspects of its nuclear energy program. All other signatories have warned the US against quitting the deal, called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Trump did not recertify the JCPOA in January but extended the main sanctions waivers and gave the Europeans until the next waiver deadline on May 12 to come up with solutions to the “terrible flaws” of the deal.
“No one can frustrate this great nation and steal from it the hope for the future,” Rouhani emphasized.
Amid Trump’s threats, other parties have stepped up diplomatic efforts to save the deal.
European leaders are also scrambling to save the deal.
French President Emmanuel Macron is in Washington this week lobbying Trump to preserve the pact, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel due in the US capital on Friday.
‘Unwavering support’ for JCPOA
In a UN non-proliferation conference in Geneva, Russia and China submitted a draft statement affirming their "unwavering support for the comprehensive and effective implementation" of the deal.
The Russian Foreign Ministry’s Director General for Non-Proliferation and Arms Control, Vladimir Yermakov, told the meeting that the JCPOA was fragile and any attempt to amend it would affect the global non-proliferation regime.
Yermakov urged all nations at the UN nuclear meeting to sign on.
"We believe there is a demand for such a collective message by the (meeting) and hope that the document will find broad support," he said.
The Russian official then took a thinly veiled shot at Trump's call to renegotiate the JCPOA in hopes of getting better terms for the United States.
"Any attempt to amend the text for someone’s benefit will inevitably... have powerful negative consequences for regional global stability and security," Yermakov said.
His comments came after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov vowed in Beijing on Monday that China and Russia would block any attempt to "sabotage" the Iran nuclear agreement.
During a first day of discussions on the NPT in Geneva on Monday, a long line of speakers had already voiced their support for the Iran deal, including the UN’s top representative for disarmament affairs Izumi Nakamitsu.
From New York, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has also warned that the country has a number of options ready at hand for responding to a possible US withdrawal, including the resumption of the activities it halted under the multilateral accord “at a much greater speed.”
Reuters, AP, AFP and Press TV contributed to this story.