Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who has been sworn in for a second term, has accused the US of trying to undermine Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers, telling President Donald Trump that it will be his political suicide.
Rouhani, who was decisively re-elected in May after promising to open Iran to the world, took the oath of office before parliament in Tehran on Saturday in the presence of foreign dignitaries including senior European figures.
“The US lack of commitment to implementation of the nuclear deal … proved it to be an unreliable partner to the world and even to its longtime allies,” Rouhani said in a ceremony broadcast live on state television.
The deal he championed with the US and five other major powers in 2015 led to the lifting of most sanctions against Iran in return for curbs on its nuclear program.
Rouhani has intensified efforts to protect the deal – the biggest achievement of his first term – against Washington’s return to an aggressive Iran policy.
In comments aimed at Trump, Rouhani said: “Those who want to tear up the nuclear deal should know that they will be ripping up their own political life.”
The US Senate voted in late July to impose new sanctions on Iran over its missiles program and human rights issues.
“Iran would not be the first to pull out of the nuclear deal, but it will not remain silent about the US repeated violations of the accord,” Rouhani said.
In a meeting with European foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini in Tehran in advance of the ceremony, Rouhani said the US stance could hamper implementation of the nuclear deal.
Praising the presence of senior European dignitaries at the ceremony, Rouhani said it showed Europe was determined to expand ties with Tehran.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was also quoted as saying by state media in his meeting with Mogherini: “Mr Trump is trying to destroy the nuclear accord at Iran’s expense, and Europe should be conscious of this.”
Among the Western officials present were French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, State Secretary at the German foreign ministry Michael Roth, and British Minister of State Alistair Burt.