Rouhani: Trump's sanctions a 'crime and aggression'

Iranian President blasts Trump over sanctions against Iran, threatens to stop cooperation with UN nuclear watchdog.

Elad Benari,

Hassan Rouhani
Hassan Rouhani
Reuters

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani blasted U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday, saying the American sanctions against Iran are a “crime and aggression”.

“Iran will survive this round of U.S. sanctions as it has survived before. This U.S. government will not stay in office forever ... But the history will judge other nations based on what they do today,” Rouhani said during a visit to Vienna, according to Reuters.

The Iranian President, who is visiting Europe in an attempt to save the 2015 nuclear deal after Trump pulled out of it in May, also warned his country could reduce its co-operation with the UN nuclear watchdog in the wake of the fresh U.S. sanctions against Iranian oil sales.

“Iran’s nuclear activities have always been for peaceful purposes, but it is Iran that would decide on its level of cooperation with the IAEA,” Iranian state news agency IRNA quoted Rouhani as saying after meeting Yukiya Amano, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna.

“The responsibility for the change of Iran’s cooperation level with the IAEA falls on those who have created this new situation,” he added.

Trump pulled out of the deal under which sanctions on Iran were lifted in return for curbs to its nuclear program. Washington has since told countries they must stop buying Iranian oil from November 4 or face financial measures.

European signatories to the deal are trying to save the accord, which they see as crucial to forestalling an Iranian nuclear weapon.

Tehran has demanded that Europe come up with an economic package to offset the effects of the U.S. withdrawal but so far has found Europe’s proposals to be unsatisfactory.

On Tuesday, Rouhani visited Switzerland, where he said Iran will respect the nuclear deal with world powers as long as the country's interests are preserved.

"After the JCPOA [nuclear deal] we showed very clearly that whatever promise we make, we stand by," said the Iranian president.


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