Iran says unruffled by Trump, has options if he axes nuke deal
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Iran says unruffled by Trump, has options if he axes nuke deal

Iranian FM promises to ‘surprise’ incoming US president with its response if he follows through on promises to nix the pact

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks during a meeting on the second day of the World Economic Forum, on January 18, 2017 in Davos. (AFP/ FABRICE COFFRINI)
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks during a meeting on the second day of the World Economic Forum, on January 18, 2017 in Davos. (AFP/ FABRICE COFFRINI)

Iran’s foreign minister said Thursday his country wasn’t worried and has options if US President-elect Donald Trump decides to ditch a nuclear agreement reached between Tehran and six world powers in 2015.

Despite “grievances” that Iran has over the pact made with the current US government, Mohammad Javad Zarif said it still believes it should be honored.

“Whatever he does to the nuclear deal, we are not worried because we have our own options. But we believe it’s in the interest of everybody to stick to the deal. Most importantly it’s an international agreement. It’s not a bilateral agreement between Iran and the United States,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting in Kuala Lumpur.

The deal was negotiated by Iran and the US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany, and enshrined in a legally binding UN resolution. It imposed limits on the Iranian nuclear program in exchange for lifting UN economic sanctions.

US President-elect Donald Trump speaks at the Chairman's Global Dinner in Washington, DC on January 17, 2017. (AFP Photo/Jim Watson)
US President-elect Donald Trump speaks at the Chairman’s Global Dinner in Washington, DC on January 17, 2017. (AFP Photo/Jim Watson)

Asked what Iran would do if Trump’s government were to walk away from the deal, Zarif said, “President Trump likes surprises and we will make him surprised.” Pressed on what he meant, he laughed and said, “It won’t be a surprise anymore if I tell you.”

Trump, who will be inaugurated Friday, has strongly criticized the agreement, calling it “one of the dumbest deals” he’s ever seen, and has vowed at times during the presidential campaign either to walk away from it or to renegotiate it.

The United Nations, the European Union and other key players in the nuclear deal have supported Iran’s position, saying at a UN Security Council meeting on Wednesday that the pact is working and must be maintained to keep Tehran from developing nuclear weapons.

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