Iran vows to burn nuke deal if US scraps it; seen as a response to Trump talk
TEHRAN, Iran – Iran's top leader said Tuesday that if the next U.S. president tears up the nuclear deal, Iran will "light it on fire."
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's remarks appeared to be aimed at presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, who has criticized the deal and vowed to renegotiate it. Khamenei referred to a "U.S. presidential candidate threatening to tear the deal up."
"We do not violate the deal, but if the other party violates it, if they tear the agreement up, we will light it on fire," Khamenei said in remarks published on his official website. Khamenei has the final say on all major issues in Iran.
He said Iran has fulfilled its obligations under the agreement but that the U.S. was dragging its feet on lifting sanctions in the banking and insurance sectors, and on unfreezing Iranian assets. "The Americans have not carried out an important part of their commitments," he said.
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif plans to meet with Secretary of State John Kerry in Germany later this week to discuss the implementation of the deal, which went into effect in January.
Khamenei reiterated his opposition to a wider rapprochement with the U.S. and other Western nations, saying they remain hostile toward Iran.
"It is a wrong idea that we can reach a compromise with the U.S.," he said. "The main argument is about the existence of the Islamic Republic, and this cannot be resolved through negotiation."
The landmark nuclear agreement reached nearly a year ago lifted sanctions in exchange for Iran curbing its uranium enrichment program.