KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Iran's foreign minister said Thursday his country isn't worried and has options if U.S. President-elect Donald Trump ditches a nuclear agreement reached between Iran and six world powers.
Despite "grievances" that Iran has over the pact made with the current U.S. government, Mohammad Javad Zarif said Iran still believes it should be honored.
"Whatever he does to the nuclear deal, we are not worried because we have our own options. But we believe it's in the interest of everybody to stick to the deal. Most importantly it's an international agreement. It's not a bilateral agreement between Iran and the United States," he told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting in Kuala Lumpur.
The deal was negotiated by Iran and the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany, and enshrined in a legally binding U.N. resolution. It imposed limits on the Iranian nuclear program in exchange for lifting U.N. economic sanctions.
Asked what Iran will do If Trump's government walks away from the deal, Zarif said, "President Trump likes surprises and we will make him surprised." Pressed on what he meant, he laughed and said, "It won't be a surprise anymore if I tell you."
Trump, who will be inaugurated Friday, has strongly criticized the Iran deal, vowing at times during the presidential campaign either to walk away from it or to renegotiate it.
The United Nations, the European Union and other key players in the nuclear deal have supported Iran's position, saying at a U.N. Security Council meeting on Wednesday that the pact is working and must be maintained to keep Tehran from developing nuclear weapons.