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'Severe consequences' if US reneges on nuclear deal: Rouhani

Rouhani responding to criticism from US President Donald Trump [Getty]

Date of publication: 24 April, 2018

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Iran has warned it will step up its nuclear programme if the US withdraws from the 2015 agreement.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday there would be "severe consequences" if Washington pulls out of the nuclear deal signed in 2015 with world powers. 

Other signatories have ramped up their efforts in recent weeks to save the deal, which US President Donald Trump said has "terrible flaws". Trump has also vowed to restore US sanctions by May 12 unless European allies amend the existing agreement. 

The other P5+1 signatories - Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany - are all in favour of sticking to the deal, which they see as the best path for curbing Iran's nuclear programme. 

"I am telling those in the White House that if they do not live up to their commitments, the Iranian government will firmly react," Rouhani said, speaking before thousands gathered in the northwestern city of Tabriz.  

"If anyone betrays the deal, they should know that they would face severe consequences," he added. "Iran is prepared for all possible situations".

French President Emmanuel Macron arrived in Washington on Monday, in large part to convince Trump to stick to the 2015 agreement signed under his predecessor Barack Obama. 

Meanwhile, on Monday the Russian and Chinese foreign ministers agreed to try blocking any US attempts to sabotage the nuclear accord. 

Iran has warned it will step up its nuclear programme if the US withdraws from the agreement.

In separate remarks on Tuesday, the head of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani, warned on state TV that Tehran might pull out of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) if the US reneges on the 2015 agreement. 

Echoing Rouhani's comments, Shamkhani said Iran was considering "surprising actions" if the nuclear deal is scrapped. He said withdrawing from the NPT was "one of three options that we are considering".

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