Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani says Tehran will not be the first country to violate a 2015 nuclear deal, hitting back at US President Donald Trump who has hinted he might pull out of the pact.
Addressing the UN General Assembly (UNGA) on Wednesday, Rouhani said his country would respond “decisively and resolutely” if the agreement – signed between Iran and world powers under which Tehran agreed to curb its nuclear programme in return for relief from economic sanctions – is violated by any party.
“By violating its international commitments the new US administration only destroys its own credibility,” he said, reiterating Iran’s assurance that Tehran is not planning to develop nuclear weapons.
He also criticised Trump for the speech he made at the UNGA on Tuesday, in which the US president claimed Iran was exporting violence and destabilising the Middle East and bashed the nuclear deal as an “embarrassment” to the US.
Rouhani called Trump’s remarks an “ignorant, absurd and hateful rhetoric filled with ridiculously baseless allegations”.
“It will be a great pity if this agreement were to be destroyed by rogue newcomers to the world of politics: the world will have lost a great opportunity,” Rouhani said, adding that Iran was a moderate country dedicated to maintaining peace.
As per the reports from the UN headquarters in New York, Rouhani’s address as “a carefully crafted speech”.
“Clearly, what the Iranians try to do is make their president look like the good guy,” Bays said, adding that the word moderation was repeated throughout Rouhani’s speech.
“At the same time, he also attacked the tone of Trump’s speech,” Bays added.