United States yet to decide if it's going to respect commitments in the nuclear deal Tehran struck with world powers under the Obama administration. The pact eased economic pressure on Tehran in exchange for limits on its nuclear programme.

Head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi at a conference on international co-operation for enhancing nuclear safety, security, safeguards and non-proliferation at the Lincei Academy in Rome. October 10, 2017.
Head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi at a conference on international co-operation for enhancing nuclear safety, security, safeguards and non-proliferation at the Lincei Academy in Rome. October 10, 2017. (AP)

Iran said on Monday it might reconsider its co-operation with the UN nuclear watchdog if the United States failed to respect its commitments under the nuclear deal Tehran struck with world powers in 2015, under former US president Barack Obama. 

US President Donald Trump must decide by mid-January whether to continue waiving US sanctions on Iran’s oil exports under the terms of the nuclear pact that eased economic pressure on Tehran in exchange for limits on its nuclear programme.

In October, Trump refused to certify that Iran was complying with the deal, also known by its acronym JCPOA, even though the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said it was.

"If the United States does not meet its commitment in the JCPOA, the Islamic Republic of Iran would take decisions that might affect its current co-operation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)," Iran's nuclear chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, was quoted as telling IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano in a phone call.

The IAEA is an international organisation that seeks to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and is scrutinising Iran's compliance with the agreement.

Retired US military officers, members of Congress and former US ambassadors were among 52 US national security experts who signed a letter released on Monday urging Trump's administration not to jeopardise the international nuclear deal with Iran.

Supporters of the deal insist that strong international monitoring will prevent Iran from developing nuclear bombs. Iran has denied that it is seeking nuclear weapons.

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi said on Monday that Tehran "would not prejudge the decision that America would take on January 13," but said it was ready for all possible outcomes and "all options were on the table."

Deputy foreign minister Abbas Araghchi said world powers should be ready for a possible US withdrawal from the deal.

"The international community might come to this conclusion that the United States will withdraw from the JCPOA in the next few days," Araghchi was quoted as saying by the state news agency IRNA.

"The international community must be ready for this development," Araghchi added, warning that such a decision would affect stability in the region.

Trump is weighing whether the pact serves US security interests, while the other world powers that negotiated the deal – France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China – still strongly support it.

US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said in September that the United States should consider staying in the Iran deal unless it was proved that Tehran was not abiding by the agreement or that it was not in the US national interest to do so.

Source: Reuters