Tehran will respond to any wrong move from Washington in the dispute over the nuclear deal, says Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. Previously, Donald Trump hinted he might tear-up the long-negotiated accord.
The US is being "unjust" in its approach to the Iranian deal, Khamenei said in an address to police officers in Tehran on Sunday. The document, signed in 2015 after months of talks between Iran, the US, China, Russia, the UK, France and Germany, lifted most of the sanctions against Iran in exchange for Tehran reigning in its nuclear program.
"Today, despite all the commitments and discussions in the negotiations, America's attitude towards these negotiations and their outcome is completely unjust and amounts to bullying," Khamenei said.
"The enemy should know that bullying may work in other parts of world, but it will not work in the Islamic Republic."
Trump: 'One of the worst deals I've ever seen'
Khamenei's comments are apparently a response to remarks by the US President Donald Trump earlier this week. Trump is obligated to reassure Congress that Iran is complying with the document every 90 days. Thus far he has done so; however, earlier this week, Trump accused Iran of violating "the spirit" of the deal.
"You'll see what I'm going to be doing very shortly in October," Trump told reporters. "The Iran deal is one of the worst deals I've ever seen. Certainly at a minimum the spirit of the deal is atrociously kept. The Iran deal is not a fair deal to this country. It's a deal that should not have ever been made."
Senior US officials also blasted Iran for testing ballistic missiles and supporting militias across the Middle East. Iran insists that launching missiles is not violating the deal, as the missiles are not designed to carry nuclear warheads.
Read more: US extends Iran sanctions relief
Sanctions on the way?
If Trump chooses not to endorse the deal in mid-October, Congress will have two months to reinstitute sanctions against Iran. Iran has already stated that it could abandon the accord "within hours" if the US imposes new sanctions.
On Sunday, Khamenei said "the corrupt, lying, deceitful US officials insolently accuse the nation of Iran... of lying, whereas the nation of Iran has acted honestly and will continue on this path until the end in an honest manner.
"The nation of Iran is standing firm and any wrong move... will face a reaction by the Islamic Republic," he added.
dj/kl (Reuters, AFP)