Iran is bracing itself for President Donald Trump’s announcement Tuesday on the future of the nuclear deal, with a top Iranian official saying the end of the agreement will only embolden the people’s support for the Islamic Republic.
Trump tweeted late Monday night that he will make a decision by Tuesday afternoon about whether to pull the U.S. out of the nuclear accord between Tehran and other world powers.
The White House is facing the May 12 deadline when the administration will have to decide whether to reimpose sanctions on the Iranian government.
Iran’s parliamentary speaker was quoted saying on Tuesday that the end of the accord will spark more unity and support for the Islamic Revolution among Iranians.
"Mr. Trump: ... Rest assured that this loyalty in nuclear issue will (encourage) the great Iranian nation to continue on the path of the Islamic Revolution firmly behind the leadership of its supreme leader,” Ali Larijani reportedly said.
Iranian president Hassan Rouhani admitted Tuesday that if the U.S. scraps the deal, there could be immediate difficulties but remained hopeful that the country will recover.
"It is possible that we will face some problems for two or three months, but we will pass through this,” Rouhani said at a petroleum expo in Tehran on Tuesday.
Some congressional Republicans, who long criticized the Obama administration for coming up with the agreement that, in their view, gave too much to Iran and won’t stop the country from eventually developing nuclear arsenal, have come out in support of staying in the agreement.
Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, told 'Fox News Sunday' that he “would counsel against” Trump scrapping the nuclear deal.
“Iran got most of the benefit upfront with relief of sanctions and a plane load of cash that President Obama sent over there. So we've lost a lot of our leverage,” he said. “But the key question is: OK, now we are where we are. What happens next if the U.S. pulls out? Does Iran kick those inspectors out so that we lose what visibility we have there?”
He added that “you need to have a clearer idea about next steps if we are going to pull out, and especially given the larger context of Iran's aggressive activities in the Middle East.”
But the potential move to scrap the nuclear deal would be favored by the Israeli government, which made a pitch last week to end it in a dramatic presentation and claimed to show Iran is “brazenly lying” about its nuclear weapons program and hasn’t complied with the accord since 2015.
"These files conclusively prove that Iran is brazenly lying when it says it never had a nuclear weapons program," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.