By staff and agency

Nuclear deal has ‘better than 50’ percent chance to survive: Zarif

October 2, 2017

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that the 2015 nuclear deal still has a “better than 50” percent chance of surviving the next year.

In an interview with Politico published on Monday, he said that Iran would consider everything from “walking away from the deal to somehow accommodating Europe” if the U.S. quits the deal.

He acknowledged that Trump has now created the expectation that he will refuse to recertify the nuclear deal – while noting pointedly that Trump could still flip-flop on this, just as he has in so many other cases.

“This would not be the first time that President Trump or other presidents have walked back from positions that they have taken during the campaign.”

Zarif noted that decertification by itself would not rip up the deal and the Republican-controlled U.S. Congress could decide—as it has in the past—not to take any action following through on Trump’s rhetoric. Doing nothing would effectively leave the deal in place.

“It’s up to Congress to adopt any decision, or not to adopt any decision, and I believe in the past a Republican Congress had this idea to let the nuclear agreement stay, as did our parliament,” Zarif said. “It had decided in the past not to take action; it can decide again.”

Commenting on Trump’s speech at the UN General Assembly, Zarif called Trump’s harsh attack on Iran in his speech “the most insulting statement that had ever been made by any U.S. president against Iran since the Revolution”.

He said that it has backfired, isolating the U.S. and undermining its credibility “as a reliable negotiating partner” on the world stage.

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