Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Sunday Iran would react strongly to any “wrong move” by the United States on Tehran’s nuclear accord with world powers, days after President Donald Trump said Iran violated the agreement’s “spirit.”
“The Iranian nation is standing firm and any wrong move by the domineering regime regarding the (nuclear accord) will face the reaction of the Islamic Republic,” state media quoted Ayatollah Khamenei as saying.
Washington extended some sanctions relief for Iran on Thursday under Tehran’s 2015 deal with world powers but said it had yet to decide whether to maintain the agreement.
Trump, who must make a decision by mid-October, said Iran was violating “the spirit” of the deal under which it got sanctions relief in return for curbing its nuclear programme.
“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 Americans should know that the Iranian people will stand firm on their honorable positions and on important issues related to national interests, there will be no retreat by the Islamic Republic,” Khamenei said in a speech to Iranian military academy graduates.
Iran said last month it could abandon the nuclear agreement “within hours” if the United States imposes any new penalties, after Washington ordered sanctions over Tehran’s ballistic missile tests.
The United States imposed unilateral sanctions after saying the missile tests violated a U.N. resolution, which endorsed the nuclear deal and called upon Tehran not to undertake activities related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such technology.
It stopped short of explicitly barring such activity.
Iran denies its missile development breaches the resolution, saying its missiles are not designed to carry nuclear weapons.
Meanwhile, Iran’s president said he is “inviting” the U.S. to dinner as he heads to New York for the U.N General Assembly.
President Hassan Rouhani used an analogy of a dinner party on Sunday to describe how countries are benefiting from the 2015 nuclear deal.
Rouhani described the Americans as “sitting in another room” at the party.
Rouhani said: “They can adopt a new path and come to the room where the dinner table is. That’s alright in our opinion. If they change their bad temper they can enjoy the dinner table.”
The nuclear deal under former President Barack Obama saw Iran limit its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. President Donald Trump has said he wants to renegotiate it.