In Brief

Nuclear deal: Iran says Trump sending ‘dangerous message’

Tehran threatens to resume uranium enrichment programme if US quits nuclear deal

Donald Trump’s threats to pull out of the Iran nuclear agreement send a “dangerous message” that the US cannot be trusted, Iran’s foreign minister has warned.

Speaking to reporters in New York, Mohammad Javad Zarif said Iran would “pursue vigorously our nuclear enrichment [programme]” if the US president reimposes economic sanctions that were lifted as part of the deal struck under Barack Obama in 2015.

Trump has repeatedly criticised the agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), under which Iran agreed to eliminate all of its medium-enriched uranium and to cut its stockpile of low-enriched uranium by 98%.

The US leader has until 12 May - when the deal is due to be renewed - to decide whether to go ahead with a set of new sanctions that he hinted at in January.

Zarif said: “That's a very dangerous message to send to people of Iran - but also to the people of the world - that you should never come to an agreement with the United States because at the end of the day, the operating principle of the United States is ‘what's mine is mine, what's yours is negotiable’.

“The situation is creating an impression globally that agreements don't matter.”

The UK, France, Germany, Russia and China are all signatories of the JCPOA, but Iran has said it is “highly unlikely” to remain in the agreement if the US pulled out.

Zarif added: “America never should have feared Iran producing a nuclear bomb, but we will pursue vigorously our nuclear enrichment. If they want to fear anything, it’s up to them.”

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