Iran Could Restart Their Nuclear Program 'In Hours" If The U.S. Imposes New Sanctions

Bryan Michalek | August 15, 2017

While speaking to parliament in a televised speech, Iranian President Rouhani addressed President Trump's recent sanctions against Iran, Russia, and North Korea, which he claims undermines the nuclear deal brokered in 2015 by several members of the international community. 

In the speech, Rouhani said, "In an hour and a day, Iran could return to a more advanced (nuclear) level than at the beginning of the negotiations," without elaborating on how this could be done.

Rouhani's statements also come after the Iranian government voted to increase spending on the country's ballistic missile program and its paramilitary Revolutionary Guard. 

In addition to his statements about reviving the nuclear program, Rouhani mentioned that his country would prefer to adhere to the nuclear deal, but only if others do so as well, saying, "Iran has remained and will remain committed to the deal, though any breach of promise by other parties will receive appropriate responses."

According to MEHR, a semi-official news agency in Iran, Rouhani suggested that the US was an unreliable partner and cited the Trump administration's withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement as well as new restrictions imposed on Cuba. 

It's no secret that Donald Trump isn't a fan of the Iran Deal, but it appears cooler heads in the administration are openly disagreeing with the president. This includes Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who said, "He [Trump] and I have differences of views on things like JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), and how we should use it."

"There are a lot of alternative means with which we use the agreement to advance our policies and the relationship with Iran, and that's what the conversation generally is around with the president as well," Tillerson added. 

He also acknowledged the role that the international community has to play in this situation saying, "The greatest pressure we can put to bear on Iran to change the behavior is a collective pressure." 

All of this news comes amidst heightened tensions between North Korea and the U.S., a tenuous situation that's causing many members of the international community to re-evaluate how to grapple with questions that arise over the nuclear option.

Although it should be the obvious choice to try to tackle these global issues with diplomacy and non-violent interventions, there are unfortunately no simple answers for these difficult situations. 

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