First Published: 2017-10-11

Zarif: Iran will react sharply to any US move against nuclear deal
Iranian FM tells lawmakers of plans to respond to US President’s moves against nuclear deal.
Middle East Online

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

BEIRUT - Iran will react sharply to any US move against the nuclear deal with global powers, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told the Iranian parliament Wednesday, according to a parliamentarian who attended the session quoted by state media.

The comments were the latest in a series of tough remarks from Iran's leadership, showing a united front between its pragmatist and hardline factions as US President Donald Trump prepares to harden policy towards Tehran this week.

"In the closed session Zarif emphasised that if the Americans take any steps against the nuclear deal that the Islamic Republic of Iran will give them a more crushing response," Shahbaz Hassanpour, a lawmaker representing the city of Sirjan, told the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).

Another lawmaker, Behrouz Nemati, said the foreign minister discussed specific steps Trump and the US Congress might take, and Iran's plans for reciprocal action to each anticipated US move. Nemati did not say what actions Zarif had described.

Trump is expected this week to "decertify" the landmark 2015 deal under which Iran agreed with global powers to accept curbs on its nuclear programme in return for the lifting of international sanctions.

Decertification would not by itself withdraw the United States from the agreement, but would pass that decision on to Congress, requiring lawmakers to decide within 60 days whether to re-impose sanctions.

Trump is also expected to declare Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps a terrorist organisation. Since the Guards have a vast economic empire in Iran, such a declaration could make it more difficult for Iranian businesses to access the international financial system.

Washington has already blacklisted other entities and individuals for supporting Guards' activities, but has not blacklisted the Guards themselves.

The threat of increased US pressure has been met by a united front of criticism from within Iran, with members of the pragmatic faction that seeks greater interaction with the West showing their support for the hardline Guards.

Iranian newspapers ran photos on Tuesday of Zarif, the urbane, US-educated foreign minister, laughing and hugging the head of the Guards, Mohammad Ali Jafari.

During the meeting with Zarif, parliament members expressed their support for the Guards, Hassanpour said. Zarif also noted during the session that European countries will continue backing the nuclear deal regardless of what actions the U.S may take, Hassanpour told IRNA.

 

Turkey warns Syria against protecting Kurds

Two hardline Syria rebels announce merger

IS kills 25 Iraqi militiamen near Kirkuk

Sudan frees dozens of activists detained after protests

Saudi Arabia to host first Arab Fashion Week

Somalia appoints new police, intelligence chiefs

Iran plane crash rescue search halted for second night

France reaffirms commitment to Iran nuclear deal

Abbas warms up to Moscow amid cold US-Palestinian ties

Israel strikes 'historic' gas contract with Egypt

Are Iranian satellite channels aiding regime change?

Israel pounds Gaza with air strikes after rocket attack

Iraq orders deportation of French jihadist

Pro-Assad militias to enter Syria's Afrin

Three Egyptian soldiers killed in Sinai

Israeli, US officials meet over gas row with Lebanon

Iran's supreme leader says progress needed on justice

Syria Kurds claim striking positions in Turkey

Netanyahu warns Iran, brandishes piece of metal

66 feared dead as plane crashes in Iranian mountains

Saudi women to open businesses without male permission

Netanyahu slams 'outrageous' Holocaust remark by Polish PM

Israeli air strikes kill 2 in Gaza

Six suffer breathing difficulties after Turkish shelling in Afrin

Russian mercenaries - a discrete weapon in Syria

Iran protests ban on wrestler who threw bout to avoid Israel

Fears of expanding Syrian war could trigger peace deal

Battle to free Mosul of IS 'intellectual terrorism'

Turkey frees Garman-Turk journalist after one year without charge

Turkey hands life sentences to 3 journalists for Gulen links

Turkey, US agree to ‘work together’ in Syria

Thousands protest corruption in Tel Aviv amid PM indictment call

Prominent jihadist commander killed by rival Syria rebels

300 Russians killed in Syria battle last week

Tillerson, Erdogan have ‘productive, open’ talk

Iran raises rates, freezes accounts in bid to shore up rial

Kremlin says five Russians killed in US Syria strikes

Oman FM in rare visit by Arab official to Jerusalem

Senior IS leader extradited to Iraq from Turkey

Strikes hit another hospital in Syria's Idlib

Churches snub Jerusalem reception over tax dispute with Israeli authorities

Tillerson says US never gave 'heavy arms' to Kurdish YPG

Captured foreign IS suspects claim innocence

Yemeni mother awaits death penalty for spying for UAE

Fuel shortage shuts down Gaza's only power plant