Politicians in Iran set a US flag ablaze in parliament and shouted ‘Death to America’ in response to Donald Trump pulling out of the nuclear deal. As well as the paper flag, they also burned a piece of paper representing the deal, in a display said to reflect public anger over Trump’s decision.
Trump immediately imposed sanctions on Iran as he revealed the US would be stepping back from the Obama-era accord signed in 2015. Iran president Hassan Rouhani has already declared the country will enrich uranium ‘more than before’ if negotiations fail in response to the US withdrawing.
Speaking after Donald Trump’s announcement, President Rouhani said there was a ‘short time’ to negotiate with the countries who remain committed to a multinational nuclear deal.
He said: ‘If we achieve the deal’s goals in cooperation with other members of the deal, it will remain in place… By exiting the deal, America has officially undermined its commitment to an international treaty’
‘I have ordered Iran’s atomic organisation that whenever it is needed, we will start enriching uranium more than before.’ He said Iran would start this ‘in the next weeks’. Announcing the withdrawal yesterday, Trump said the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was a ‘great embarrassment’ to him and warned if the US remained in the deal, it would lead to an ‘arms race’ in the Middle East.
He said: ‘The Iran deal is defective at its core. If we do nothing, we know exactly what will happen. ‘In just a short period of time, the world’s leading state sponsor of terror will be on the cusp of acquiring the world’s most dangerous weapon. ‘Therefore, I am announcing today that the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.’
Theresa May expressed ‘regret and concern’ over Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Iran nuclear deal. The prime minister condemned the US president’s announcement in a joint statement with the leaders of Germany and France, Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron
The chant ‘Death to America’ has long been used in Iran since its 1979 Islamic Revolution, and it has been common to hear it within parliament. Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal imposed restrictions on its nuclear programme in return for the lifting of most US and international sanctions.
But the deal came with time limits and did not address Iran’s ballistic missile programme or its regional policies in Syria and elsewhere. Trump has repeatedly pointed to those omissions in referring to the accord as the ‘worst deal ever’.
Many Iranians are worried about what the decision could mean for their country. The Iranian rial is already trading on the black market at 66,000 to the dollar, despite a government-set rate of 42,000 rials. While many say they have not seen any benefits from the nuclear deal. Iran’s poor economy and unemployment sparked nationwide protests in December and January that saw at least 25 people killed and, reportedly, nearly 5,000 arrested.
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