Iran ready to deal with ‘any misguided US step’: Ministry
Iran says it is ready to deal with any “unsavory” and “misguided” step by the US, including a possible violation of a nuclear accord which President Donald Trump has described as “one of the worst ever made”.
Both on his campaign trail and after election in early 2017, Trump threatened to “scrap” the agreement known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) but he has markedly toned down his rhetoric since taking office.
“Given the dimensions that the JCPOA can have, Mr. Trump and the American leadership do not appear to be capable of unilaterally violating it,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi told reporters in Tehran on Monday.
“That is why the United States has focused on political, economic, and psychological measures in other anti-Iranian bills, and is keen to counteract the positive effects of the JCPOA,” he added.
Qassemi cited US “psychological” campaign to dissuade financial institutions as well as economic, industrial and commercial enterprises of the world from engaging in any trade with Iran.
“In this way, they want to diminish or neutralize the positive and fruitful effects that the JCPOA could have in the economic sphere for Iran,” the official said.
“At the same time, there have been serious and positive signs in the events of the past couple of weeks that should be dealt with more thoughtfully and for any judgment about the future, we should wait a bit and see what kind of a policy America would follow,” Qassemi added without explanation.
The Trump administration has put Iran “on notice” over its missile tests and imposed new sanctions, while it has ordered a review of the historic accord with Tehran that limits the country’s nuclear program.
Any attempt to scuttle the deal for reasons not spelled out in the accord would likely be viewed as illegitimate by the nations that hammered it out and could potentially spark diplomatic and trade disputes with some of America’s closest partners.
Qassemi said, “Today, our country is more than ever prepared to deal with any unsavory and misguided action in various areas.”
The Iranian spokesman also said a partial ceasefire in southwestern Syria agreed between the United States and Russia should be expanded to all of Syria if it is to be successful.
The ceasefire and a “de-escalation agreement” for the southwest went into effect on Sunday after a meeting between US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Hamburg.
Qassemi said, “The agreement can be fruitful if it is expanded to all of Syria and includes all the area that we discussed in Astana talks for de-escalating the tension.”
Russia and Iran are the main international backers of the Syrian government in its battle against foreign-backed militants while Washington supports terrorist groups fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad.
Qassemi said Iran “is seeking Syria’s sovereignty and security so a ceasefire cannot be limited to a certain location,” adding “no agreement would be successful without taking the realities on the ground into account.”
Iran, he said, has been fully informed by the Russians on the ceasefire agreement but the country sees some “ambiguities in the deal mainly related to the recent American measures in Syria.”
The official also said Iran sees no restriction to boosting commercial, economic, and other types of cooperation with Qatar which has come under an unprecedented blockade by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt.
Iran threw support behind Qatar and started shipping food to it after the Saudi-led bloc broke off diplomatic ties with the Persian Gulf country.
Qassemi further said a consular team, composed of 10 Iranian officials, will be present across Saudi Arabia to serve Iranian pilgrims during Hajj rituals.
Saudi Arabia ruptured diplomatic ties with Iran in 2016 after which it stopped cooperation on dispatch of Iranians to the Hajj pilgrimage, but later invited Tehran to sort out their differences.
The spokesman also congratulated the Iraqi government and people on the occasion of the northern city of Mosul’s liberation from the Takfiri terror group of Daesh.
The Arab country restored its sovereignty over the city on Sunday at the end of a nine-month-long battle.