US pullout won’t kill nuclear deal, Iran’s Rouhani says
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US pullout won’t kill nuclear deal, Iran’s Rouhani says

Iranian president declares he is willing to maintain pact with Europeans even if Washington makes a 'strategic mistake' and walks away

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a joint press conference with the leaders of Turkey and Russia as part of a tripartite summit on Syria, in Ankara, on April 4, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / ADEM ALTAN)
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a joint press conference with the leaders of Turkey and Russia as part of a tripartite summit on Syria, in Ankara, on April 4, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / ADEM ALTAN)

TEHRAN, Iran — President Hassan Rouhani said Monday Iran would be willing not to abandon the nuclear deal even if the United States pulls out, providing the European Union offers guarantees that Iran would keep benefiting from the accord.

Rouhani’s remarks came ahead of US President Donald Trump’s decision expected later this week on whether to pull America out of the landmark deal between Iran and world powers. Rouhani spoke during a meeting with officials in the northeastern city of Mashhad on Monday.

He said a US pullout would be a “strategic mistake.”

“What we want for the deal is that it’s preserved and guaranteed by the non-Americans,” Rouhani said — a reference to other signatories of the 2015 agreement.

He added in such a case “then the US pullout will be ok.”

Iran signed the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with the US, Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany. The agreement imposes strict restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program in return for the loosening of economic sanctions.

Britain, France, Russia and Germany have all urged Trump to maintain the treaty.

Trump is fast approaching his self-imposed May 12 deadline for walking away from the JCPOA. In January, he gave Congress and European allies an ultimatum to either amend the pact to his liking by tightening restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program and its missile development projects, or stand by as he renewed sanctions against Tehran.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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