Haley: Iran can't hold the world hostage

U.S. Ambassador responds to Iran's threats it will withdraw from nuclear deal if hit with new sanctions.

Elad Benari ,

Nikki Haley
Nikki Haley

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley responded on Tuesday to threats by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who said his country would withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal if the U.S. imposes new sanctions on it.

"Iran cannot be allowed to use the nuclear deal to hold the world hostage ... The nuclear deal must not become 'too big to fail'," Haley said in a statement quoted by Reuters, adding that new U.S. sanctions were unrelated to the Iran nuclear deal.

She called for Iran to be held responsible for "its missile launches, support for terrorism, disregard for human rights, and violations of UN Security Council resolutions."

Rouhani had earlier blasted plans by the United States to impose new sanctions on the Tehran regime, declaring the Islamic Republic would withdraw from the treaty “within hours” of any new sanctions.

"If America wants to go back to the experience [of sanctions], Iran would certainly return in a short time -- not a week or a month but within hours -- to conditions more advanced than before the start of negotiations," Rouhani said during a live broadcast on Iranian state television.

While lifting nuclear-linked sanctions, the United States maintains sanctions related to Iran's ballistic missile program, human rights record and its support for international terrorism.

Earlier this month, President Trump signed a new package of sanctions into law, with sanctions targeting not only Iran, but North Korea and the Russian government as well.

Within hours, Iran’s Foreign Ministry condemned the new sanctions and vowed an “appropriate and proportional response”.

Haley is set to travel to Vienna later this month to discuss Iran's nuclear activities with officials from the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).