TEHRAN: Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday that his country would stay in the nuclear deal even if the United States pulls out, on the condition that the other parties remain. “Either what we want from the nuclear deal is guaranteed by the non-American parties, or it is not the case and we will follow our own path,” Rouhani said on the presidency website, without elaborating.

US President Donald Trump is due to announce on Saturday whether the United States will remain in the 2015 deal that lifted international sanctions in exchange for curbs to Iran’s nuclear programme. The other parties — Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia — have urged Trump to stay in the deal.

Rouhani said on Sunday that the United States would regret “like never before” pulling out of the deal, but has remained vague on how exactly Iran would respond.

On Monday, Rouhani said Iran had “thought of all the scenarios and have taken appropriate measures. “The United States will be the principle loser in this affair,” said Rouhani.

Europe’s last-ditch bid to save deal

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson came to Washington on Monday to lobby US President Donald Trump’s administration as European capitals mounted a last-ditch push to save the Iran nuclear deal.

London’s top diplomat even tried to reach out to the US leader through his favourite TV show, appearing on Fox and Friends to warn against pulling out of the accord without a back-up plan.

Then it was on to the State Department, for talks with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a former CIA director and anti-Iran hawk who is expected to back any Trump decision to quit the deal on May 12. Johnson warned on Fox News that “Plan B does not seem to be, to me, particularly well-developed at this stage.” He also tried flattery, telling Sky News that if Trump can “fix” the Iran deal and engineer a thaw with North Korea, he would deserve a Nobel Prize like the one his predecessor Barack Obama won.

Published in Dawn, May 8th, 2018

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