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Expect 'Changes' In Iran, If US Drops JCPOA - Spokesman

Mohammad Bagher Nobakht, Iranian government spokesman, the president's adviser for Supervision and Strategic Affairs, and Head of the Plan and Budget Organization speaks to AFP during an interview at his office in Tehran, February 15, 2018

Iranian government spokesman Mohammad Baqer Nobakht believes that US will drop the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or Tehran’s nuclear deal on May 12, adding, “expect to see change in the Islamic Republic’s situation.”

Speaking on Wednesday, May 2, in Northern port city of “Bandar Anzali”, Nobakht said, “The US is likely to walk away from JCPOA and we have to expect a different situation in the country.”

Nobakht did not clarify the "changes" he referred to but one possibility is a deteriorating economic situation in the country.

Meanwhile, he insisted that Tehran will not be surprised by the US possible withdrawal from the nuclear deal, noting, “We are ready for any development. We have paved the way and prepared necessary budget for post JCPOA era.”

President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly described JCPOA as the “worst possible deal”, is expected to declare the US position on JCPOA on May 12. Earlier, he had set four conditions for not stepping out of the deal: “international inspectors should have immediate access to all locations and facilities across Iran”, “limitation on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear activities should be permanent”, “Tehran should guarantee that it will never seek nuclear weapons” and “Iran’s Ballistic missiles plan should be curbed”.

In a statement on January 12, U.S. President Donald Trump gave Europeans only 120 days to agree to an overhaul of the JCPOA and insisted that if the deal is not revised he would unilaterally withdraw the U.S. from it.

Furthermore, President Trump has cautioned that if the Islamic Republic resumes its nuclear activities, Tehran should expect “bigger problems”.

The European leaders have urged President Trump to remain in JCPOA, while saying that they are prepared to change and revise it.

However, Tehran has repeatedly said that it would never accept any “revision” or “re-negotiation” of JCPOA.

“Iran will never accept any change in the nuclear deal,” President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday, April 25.

Echoing the president’ comments, secretary of the Islamic Republic’s Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani warned the European states of losing prestige and interest in case Washington discards the 2015 nuclear deal.

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Rear-Admiral Shamkhani also threatened, “Tehran is entitled to withdraw from the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) if it loses its interests due to the ‘illegal behavior’ of the opposite side”.

Earlier on April 26, IRGC Brigadier General Hossein Salami had urged Rouhani’s Administration to take a tougher stance in debates over JCPOA. “Government officials should be more authoritative” in their comments on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and “wipe out the conception that regardless of Washington’s decision on JCPOA, Iran will remain loyal to it,” state-run Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), cited Salami as saying.

Salami said he speaks for Iran’s military elites in calling on Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to be tougher on the U.S., adding his own prediction that Washington will preserve sanctions and try to agitate the people of Iran into a confrontation with the IRGC and the Supreme Leader.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which Iran signed with the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France, and Germany, curbed Iran's nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief.

Reacting to the countdown for May 12, Nobakht maintained that Tehran “is already under economic siege” and “the government is dutybound to break it.”

However, Nobakht affirmed that Tehran will defend JCPOA to the last minute.

Referring to Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent comments on the Islamic Republic’s clandestine nuclear activities, Iranian Government spokesman said, “He [Netanyahu] hoped to form an anti-Iran and anti-JCPOA movement, but UN’s nuclear watchdog, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is the sole globally recognized authority in such cases.”

Without any elaboration Nobakht also said, “The enemies failed to destroy Iran through war and tried to eradicate the country's identity with reliance on Daesh [IS] terrorist group, but to no avail.”