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'Death to America': Iran's press is scathing about Trump's nuclear deal pullout

The international community has also expressed regret at the decision.

US President Donald Trump.
US President Donald Trump.
Image: PA Images

IRAN’S PRESS HAS condemned US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from a multi-party nuclear deal but was divided over whether Tehran should react with patience or withdraw itself.

“The nuclear deal without the trouble-maker,” was the headline in one of the leading reformist papers, Etemad.

It reprinted a tweet by President Hassan Rouhani on its front page: “We have been freed from the evil of someone who does not respect their commitments. The nuclear deal will continue if Iran’s interests are assured.”

Another reformist daily, Aftab, spoke of “Tehran’s logical decision” to stay in the landmark 2015 deal with the help of the other signatories — Britain, France, Germany, China, Russia and the European Union.

The conservative dailies took a sharply different tack.

“Trump has torn up the nuclear deal, it is time for us to burn it,” said the hardline Kayhan newspaper, echoing a recent threat by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Kayhan has been one of the fiercest critics of the agreement, under which Iran vowed to curb its nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief.

Trump announced his decision to pull out of the deal yesterday, saying he would reimpose “the highest level of economic sanction” on Iran.

“Iran will be united and will resist,” was the headline of conservative paper Javan.

“It is time for unity and not for blaming others. It is the occasion for a renewal of Iran. Our slogan ‘Death to America’ is not just a slogan — the United States is effectively dead in our eyes,” it said in an editorial.

Other conservatives were sceptical about the ability of Iran’s government to salvage the agreement with the help of European powers.

“Europe does not have the capacity to maintain the nuclear deal,” said daily Farheekhtegan. “The result of all their bargaining with Trump has just been more pressure on Iran.”

International reaction

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani — whose standing at home now risks being undermined by the deal’s collapse — was furious, accusing Trump of “psychological warfare.”

Rouhani said Iran could resume uranium enrichment “without limit” in response to Trump’s announcement, but that it would discuss its response with other parties to the deal before announcing a decision.

The decision marked a stark diplomatic defeat for Europe, whose leaders, repeatedly and in person, begged the mercurial US leader to think again.

In a joint statement, Germany’s Angela Merkel, Britain’s Theresa May and France’s Emmanuel Macron voiced their “regret and concern” at Trump’s decision.

European firms doing business in Iran now have a six month deadline to wind up investments, or risk US sanctions, Trump’s hawkish advisor John Bolton said, while ruling out talk of reconsideration.

“We’re out of the deal. We’re out of the deal. We’re out of the deal,” he said.

© – AFP 2018

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