Iran’s foreign minister said President Trump will lose all credibility on the world stage to “engage in any long-term negotiation” if his administration backs out of a nuclear pact with his country.
“Nobody else will trust any US administration to engage in any long-term negotiation because the length of any commitment, the duration of any commitment from now on with any US administration would be the remainder of the term of that president,” Mohammad Javad Zarif said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” in an interview that aired Sunday.
Zarif, who helped negotiate the 2015 agreement with the US and Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China, made his comments after Trump said he would not certify the deal but wouldn’t back out of it, instead sending it to Congress to set guidelines on Tehran’s compliance.
“This is not a bilateral treaty between Iran and the US,” Zarif said. ”So whatever domestic politicking he wants to do, that’s his business. You know, the United States is a permanent member of the Security Council. And if it’s not going to uphold a resolution, that not only it voted for but it sponsored, then the credibility of the institution that the United States considers to be very important would be at stake.”
Calling Iran a “rogue regime” that spreads terror and chaos around the world, Trump said, “the longer we ignore a threat, the more dangerous it becomes,” as he announced his decision on Friday.
The president made the Iran nuclear accord one of the priorities of his campaign, often referring to the pact as the “worst deal ever.”
Zarif said the consequences of pulling out of the agreement could affect negotiations with other counties, including North Korea, which continues to develop nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of striking the US mainland.
“You see, in order to bring United States on board on many of these international agreements, a lot of people make a lot of concessions,” Zarif said. “Now nobody is going to make any concessions to the United States because they know that the next US president will come back and say, ‘It wasn’t enough, we’re not satisfied.’”
Zarif said Trump’s “America First” foreign policy amounts to the US retreating from its leadership role on the world stage.
“This administration is withdrawing from everything,” he said. “Somebody called it withdrawal doctrine for this administration.
It’s withdrawing from NAFTA. It’s withdrawing from Trans Pacific Partnership. It’s withdrawing from UNESCO. It’s withdrawing from everything. So people cannot trust anymore the word of the United States.”
Trump, who reluctantly certified the deal twice, did not recertify it on Friday and punted it to Congress, which has 60 days to decide to reimpose sanctions on Tehran or do nothing and allow the pact to remain in place.
The president warned that if “we are not able to reach a solution working with Congress and our allies, then the agreement will be terminated.”