Iran already prepared for US JCPOA exit: Official

Tasnim – Iran has made the necessary preparations for a US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) well in advance of the US president’s upcoming announcement about Washington’s commitment to the multilateral nuclear deal, the Iranian president’s chief of staff said.

In a meeting with the Leader’s representative in the northeastern city of Mashhad on Friday, Mahmoud Vaezi said the necessary measures have been taken since late last Iranian year (early 2018) to deal with the possible US withdrawal from the JCPOA, the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany).

Tehran is prepared for a logical response to the US president’s decision about the JCPOA, he added.

“Plans have been made in such a way that if the US exits the JCPOA, the country (Iran) would not be much affected by the consequences of that measure,” the Iranian president’s chief of staff underlined.

US President Donald Trump in January set a 120-day deadline for US lawmakers and European allies to “fix” his predecessor Barack Obama’s main foreign policy achievement or face a US exit.

Since the nuclear deal was signed in Vienna in July 2015, the International Atomic Energy Agency has repeatedly confirmed Iran’s compliance with its commitments under the JCPOA.

In a video message released on Thursday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reiterated that Tehran will by no means agree to renegotiate the JCPOA or add any new terms to it, warning that Iran will choose how to respond to a US withdrawal from the nuclear deal.

“If the US continues to violate the agreement, or if it withdraws all together, we will exercise our right to respond in a manner of our choosing. Bluster or threats won’t get the US a new deal particularly as it is not honoring the deal it has already made,” Zarif explained.