Iran has ‘expected and unexpected’ reactions if US leaves deal: Rouhani

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani delivers a speech during a parade on the occasion of the country’s Army Day on April 18, 2018, in Tehran. (AFP)
Updated 21 April 2018

Iran has ‘expected and unexpected’ reactions if US leaves deal: Rouhani

DUBAI: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday Iran’s atomic agency was ready with “expected and unexpected” reactions if the United States pulls out of a multinational nuclear deal, as US President Donald Trump has threatened to do.
“Our Atomic Energy Organization is fully prepared ... for actions that they expect and actions they do not expect,” Rouhani said without elaborating in a speech carried by state television, referring to a possible decision by Trump to leave the accord next month.
The deal reached between Iran, the United States and five other world powers put curbs on Iran’s nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief.
Trump has called the agreement one of the worst deals ever negotiated. In January he sent an ultimatum to Britain, France and Germany, saying they must agree to fix what the United States sees as the deal’s flaws or he would refuse to extend the critical US sanctions relief that it entails.
US disarmament ambassador Robert Wood said on Thursday Washington had been having “intense” discussions with European allies ahead of the May 12 deadline, when US sanctions against Iran will resume unless Trump issues new waivers to suspend them.
Iran has said it will stick to the accord as long as the other parties respect it, but will “shred” the deal if Washington pulls out.
“Iran has several options if the United States leaves the nuclear deal. Tehran’s reaction to America’s withdrawal of the deal will be unpleasant,” Iranian state TV quoted Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as saying in New York.
Foreign exchange controls “preventive” in case US exits
Rouhani said his government intended to prevent instability in the foreign exchange market after a possible Washington exit from the nuclear accord when the central bank this month slapped controls on markets in an attempt to unify the Iranian rial.
“This was a preventative blow against any American decision on May 12. They fully hoped to ... cause chaos in the (foreign exchange) market. I promise to the people that the plot of the enemy has been thwarted, and whether or not the nuclear deal remains in effect, we will have no problem,” Rouhani said.
On April 9, Iran moved to formally unify the country’s official and open market exchange rates and banned money changing outside of banks, after its currency, the rial, plunged to an all-time low on concerns over a return of crippling sanctions. 


Teen killed in clashes between Palestinian forces, gunmen

Updated 11 min 17 sec ago

Teen killed in clashes between Palestinian forces, gunmen

JERUSALEM: A teenager was shot and killed in overnight clashes between Palestinian forces and local gunmen in the West Bank, local media reported Wednesday.
Salah Zakarna, 17, was shot in the chest and later died when Palestinian security forces clashed with armed residents in the northern West Bank town of Qabatiya, the Palestinian Maan news agency reported. It was unclear who shot him.
Maan said Palestinian forces were trying to prevent residents from firing celebratory gunfire into the air to welcome home a local man who had been released from an Israeli prison. It said several people, including members of the security forces, were wounded.
The Palestinian Authority, which has limited self-rule in parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank, said it launched an investigation into the teenager’s death and would bring those responsible to justice.
Support for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has plummeted in recent years following his failure to bring about an independent state or mend the rift with the Islamic militant group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian Authority has also faced widespread allegations of corruption.
Abbas has continued to maintain security ties with Israel more than a decade after the last high-level peace talks ended. The security coordination is deeply unpopular among Palestinians, many of whom view it as an extension of the occupation.