Iran will remain in its 2015 nuclear deal only if its benefits are guaranteed by other signatories after the U.S. withdrew from the accord, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told a
news conference on Wednesday.
Rouhani said the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal was “illegal”.
“Not the United States, not any other country would benefit from this decision to withdraw from the accord,” Rouhani said in the news conference, which was broadcast live on Iranian state television.
On May 8, President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the deal and reinstated sanctions on Iran after he had criticised the accord and said the country did not abide by its conditions.
European nations Germany, the U.K. and France, who brokered the Iranian nuclear deal with China and Russia in 2015, have said they are committed to the deal.
However, European businesses and financial institutions could be punished via so-called secondary sanctions if they do business with Iranian individuals or entities once U.S. restrictions snap back in August and then in November.
The 2015 agreement sealed by Trump’s predecessor, President Barack Obama, with the support of China, Russia, Germany, France and the UK, eased sanctions on Tehran.
France, Germany and the UK launched a diplomatic offensive in recent weeks attempting to persuade Trump not to scuttle the deal which aims to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
Trump said he opposed the agreement, called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JPCOA), during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Since taking office, he has repeatedly threatened to pull the U.S. out of the pact, recently calling it a “horrible deal’’.
Iran’s state news agency reported Tuesday the foreign ministers of Iran and the countries remaining in the nuclear accord are to meet in Vienna on Friday.