Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says Washington will pay a high price if US President Donald Trump carries out his threats to scrap the historic nuclear deal reached between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries in 2015.
“Leaving such an agreement would carry a high cost for the United States of America,” Rouhani said in an exclusive interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour in New York on Monday.
“I do not believe Americans would be willing to pay such a high price for something that will be useless for them,” he added.
The Iranian chief executive, who is in New York to take part in the 72nd annual session of the United Nations General Assembly, further emphasized that the Trump administration’s move to scrap the accord "will yield no results for the United States.”
However, Rouhani warned that such an action “will generally decrease and chip away at international trust placed in the United States of America."
Rouhani made the remarks amid growing concerns about the future of the nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was signed by Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China – plus Germany on July 14, 2015 and went into effect on January 16, 2016.
Under the JCPOA, Iran undertook to put limitations on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions imposed against Tehran.
Trump, who had made no secret of opposing the nuclear agreement in his election campaign, has threatened to “tear up” the agreement, calling it “the worst deal ever negotiated.”
Tensions have risen between Tehran and Washington since Trump entered the Oval Office, with each side accusing the other of failing to honor the spirit of the JCPOA.
The United States, which is a party to the landmark nuclear agreement, seems to be laying out a case for abandoning it.
In its efforts to undermine the deal, the White House has recently attempted to sway the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) reporting on Iran.
Last month, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley traveled to Vienna to press the IAEA to request access to Iran’s military sites, a move that Washington hoped would undermine the JCPOA.
The IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano on Monday once again confirmed that Iran was implementing its commitments under the JCPOA.
Amano made the remarks in his opening address to the IAEA's 61st General Conference in Vienna, a week after he told the 35-member Board of Governors that Iran had lived up to its commitments under the JCPOA.