Kremlin: ‘Harmful Consequences’ if Iran Deal Scrapped

Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during a joint news conference following their meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, March 28, 2017. (Sputnik/Aleksey Nikolskyi/Kremlin via Reuters )

Russia warned the U.S. on Tuesday of “harmful consequences” should the Trump administration decide to let the Iran nuclear deal expire.

President Trump is set Tuesday afternoon to announce whether he will renew the agreement, which granted Iran sanctions relief in exchange for a promise to roll back its nuclear-weapons program.

Canceling the deal will result in “inevitable harmful consequences,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

European countries have pleaded with Trump in recent weeks to keep the deal, believing it is the best way to curtail Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

French president Emmanuel Macron and German chancellor Angela Merkel both visited the White House last month to recommend renewing the deal. Britain has also pushed for the U.S. not to abandon it.

“That would mean opening Pandora’s box, it could mean war,” Macron told Der Spiegel Saturday. “I don’t believe that Donald Trump wants war.”

Trump, however, is a long-time critic of the Obama-era deal, which he called “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into.” He believes the agreement does not crack down enough on Iran’s missile program, does not allow U.S. inspectors enough access, and lifts restrictions uranium enrichment and centrifuges too soon.

The White House is in talks with European countries on tightening the deal’s terms, but Trump is expected to pull the U.S. out of it regardless.

Like Russia, Iran itself has warned the White House about leaving the agreement.

“If the United States leaves the nuclear agreement, you will soon see that they will regret it like never before in history,” Iranian president Hassan Rouhani said on state television Sunday.

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