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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 September 2018

Iran can abandon nuclear deal 'in hours', Rouhani says 

The Iranian president also said Donald Trump has shown the world he was "not a good partner" by threatening to tear up a 2015 nuclear deal

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani speaks in a session of parliament to debate his proposed cabinet, in Tehran, Iran, on Tuesday, August 15, 2017. Vahid Salemi / AP Photo
Iranian president Hassan Rouhani speaks in a session of parliament to debate his proposed cabinet, in Tehran, Iran, on Tuesday, August 15, 2017. Vahid Salemi / AP Photo

Iran could abandon its nuclear deal within hours if the United States sticks to its policies of "sanctions and coercion", president Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday.

"The failed experience of sanctions and coercion brought their previous administrations to the negotiating table," he told parliament.

"If they want to go back to that experience, definitely in a short time - not weeks or months, but in the scale of hours and days - we will return to our previous situation very much more stronger."

In the televised speech, Mr Rouhani also said president Donald Trump has shown the world he was "not a good partner" by threatening to tear up a 2015 nuclear deal.

"In recent months, the world has witnessed that the US, in addition to its constant and repetitive breaking of its promises in the JCPOA [nuclear deal], has ignored several other global agreements and shown its allies that the US is neither a good partner nor a reliable negotiating party," he said.

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The US placed additional sanctions on Iran last month, targeting Iran's testing of new missile technology - and in response the Iranian parliament on Sunday approved an increased budget for the country’s ballistic missile programme and the regional operations of its Revolutionary Guard.

Mr Trump has also indicated the US may certify Iran as noncompliant on the nuclear deal next month.

Iran's adherance with the JCPOA is reviewed every 90 days, after which the state department can either re-certify Iran's compliance to the US congress.

Mr Trump has made it clear he is reluctantly preserving the deal for now, on the advice of his secretary of state Rex Tillerson.

But Mr Tillerson said earlier this month that Washington could "tear it up and walk away" or stay in the deal and hold Iran accountable to its terms, which he said would require Iran to act as a "good neighbour".

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