TEHRAN – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani reminded the US administration of the heavy price it will have to pay by withdrawing from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), saying such move would “chip away at international trust placed in the” US. Speaking in an exclusive interview with CNN in New York, President Rouhani said, […]
TEHRAN – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani reminded the US administration of the heavy price it will have to pay by withdrawing from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), saying such move would “chip away at international trust placed in the” US.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with CNN in New York, President Rouhani said, “Exiting such an agreement (JCPOA) would carry a high cost for the United States of America, and I do not believe Americans would be willing to pay such a high cost for something that will be useless for them.”
The Iranian president noted that such an action by the Trump administration “will yield no results for the United States but at the same time it will generally decrease and cut away and chip away at international trust placed in the Unites States of America.”
He also voiced Iran’s readiness to respond to the possibility of Trump walking away from the JCPOA, the nuclear agreement between Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany).
“Given that Mr. Trump’s actions and reactions and policies are somewhat unpredictable, we have thought long and hard about our reactions,” he said.
President Rouhani said any riposte from Iran would come “quite swiftly” and “probably within a week,” adding that “if the US wants to increase the tensions it will see the reaction from Iran.”
He then warned of the diplomatic precedent that would be set by pulling out of the Iran agreement, especially with regard to North Korea.
“I think what the Iranian experience shows is a good experience that can be replicated elsewhere and executed elsewhere,” he said.
“But keep in mind please that if the United States wishes to withdraw from the JCPOA, why would the North Koreans waste their time in order to sit around the table of dialogue with the United States, because they would think perhaps after years of talks and a potential agreement the next US administration could step over or pull out of the agreement,” he added.
On the war in Syria, Rouhani said, “Our actions were successful and today we are witnessing the final stages of the defeat of Daesh (ISIL or ISIS)”.
“The future of Syria will be determined by talks and ultimately the opposition must reach an agreement with the government and the will of people would be the ballot box should ultimately determine what happens,” Rouhani told CNN.
CNN also asked President Rouhani about Iran’s position regarding the current crisis in Myanmar, where the government has been accused by the UN of ethnically cleansing Rohingya Muslims.
Rouhani said that Myanmar should be condemned and that aid should be forwarded to Bangladesh, where hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees have fled in recent weeks.
He also said he shared concerns that Daesh and al-Qaeda fighters in Syria and Iraq could move across to Bangladesh and Myanmar to exploit the Rohingya crisis.
The Iranian president is in New York to attend the 72nd regular session of the United Nations General Assembly.