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Iran Threatens U.S. with “Heavy Response” if it Withdraws from Nuke Deal

Iran has threatened on Monday that the United States will face an “appropriate and heavy response”, if it withdraws from the nuclear accord signed between the Islamic Republic and six world powers in 2015, The Times of Israel reported.

“The international community must be prepared for the US possibly pulling out of the JCPOA,” said Iranian deputy foreign minister Abbas Araghchi, using the technical name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, for the nuclear deal.

U.S. President Donald Trump is an outspoken critic of the accord and promised during his election campaign to dismantle the agreement, which he says is not in the national interest of the U.S. In October, Trump kicked the agreement back to Congress for further review, but has so far continued to waive the nuclear-related sanctions at fixed intervals as required to stay in compliance. The next deadline for Trump to waive sanctions falls on Friday.

“It’s been more than a year that the U.S. president has sought to destroy the JCPOA with all his efforts,” said Araghchi, speaking at the Tehran Security Conference. “We in Iran are prepared for any scenario. The international community and our region will be the biggest loser, since a successful experience in the international arena will be lost,” he added. “Our region will not become a safer region without the JCPOA.”

Foreign ministry spokesman, Bahram Ghasemi, said that a withdrawal from the agreement will lead to an “appropriate and heavy response.” He added: “The US administration will definitely regret it.”

Last week, the U.S. imposed sanctions on five Iranian entities over their involvement in developing ballistic missiles and signaled that more punitive measures are in play in response to the Islamic Republic’s crackdown of anti-government protests.

Iran is in violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231, which was passed after the nuclear accord as signed between Iran and six world powers. In December, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, presented evidence in the form of missile parts with logos suggesting they were manufactured in Iran. According to Haley, the fragments were recovered after Iranian-backed Houthi rebels fired missiles at Saudi Arabia.

[Photo: Channel 4 News]