Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivers a speech in Tehran. AP file photo
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned the United States on Sunday against any “wrong move” to Tehran’s nuclear deal saying they will react strongly if provoked by the US government.
“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 television quoted Ayatollah Khamenei as saying, Reuters reported.
Khamenei’s comments came after US President Donald Trump had said on Thursday that Tehran was violating “the spirit” of the 2015 nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“Today, despite all the commitments and discussions in the negotiations, America’s attitude toward these negotiations and their outcome is completely unjust and amounts to bullying,” Khamenei said in the televised speech to Iranian military academy graduates.
“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,” he added.
The Trump administration on Thursday extended sanctions relief to Iran, avoiding imminent action that could implode the landmark 2015 nuclear deal, even as President Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson accused Tehran of not respecting the entire agreement.
In comments to reporters aboard Air Force One, Trump repeated his campaign pronouncement that the deal is bad and again said he believes Iran is violating its terms and spirit.
"We are not going to stand for what they are doing to this country," Trump said. "They have violated so many elements but they have also violated the spirit of that deal."
The nuclear sanctions waivers are America's part of the deal's central bargain.
In exchange for Tehran rolling back its atomic program, the U.S. and other world powers agreed to suspend wide-ranging oil, trade and financial penalties that had choked the Iranian economy.
IAEA monitors Iran’s compliance via site visits, remote monitoring, containment seals, and satellite imagery.
The next certification deadline is Oct. 15 and several officials and people close to the matter have described Trump as determined to "decertify" Iranian compliance with the nuclear deal at that point - a finding that would jeopardize the entire agreement.