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Iran Says It Has ‘Other Options’ Should Nuclear Deal Crumble

Mohammad Javad Zarif
Mohammad Javad Zarif / AP
• November 10, 2016 4:37 pm

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Iran's foreign minister said Thursday that the Iranian regime has options should last summer's international nuclear accord fail during Donald Trump's presidency.

"Our strong preference as a party that has remained fully committed and implemented its side of the bargain … is for every member and participant and for the international community to continue to remain committed to the agreement," Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters in Bratislava after meeting his Slovak counterpart, according to Reuters.

"But it doesn't mean we don't have other options if the USA unwisely decides to move away from its obligations under the agreement," he continued.

Zarif's comments came two days after Trump won the presidential election. The president-elect has condemned the nuclear agreement as a "disaster" and vowed on the campaign trail to "renegotiate" its terms, which are intended to limit Iran's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

The Obama administration implemented the deal last year after months of arduous negotiations spearheaded by Zarif and Secretary of State John Kerry.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, tasked by the United Nations to report violations of the deal, said Wednesday that Iran had for the second time exceeded the deal's limit on heavy water, Reuters reported. The sensitive material is used as a moderator in nuclear reactors.

Iran told the IAEA that it would transfer 5 tons of heavy water out of the country in the next couple of days to adhere to the accord's limit.

Mark Toner, a State Department spokesman, told reporters Wednesday it was "important to note that Iran made no effort to hide this, hide what it was doing from the IAEA."

Iran first exceeded the 130 ton heavy-water limit in February.