Iran’s Rouhani foresees ‘problems’ after Trump aborts nuclear deal

“It is possible that we will face some problems,” Iran’s president warned the country ahead of Trump’s decision on whether to pull out of the nuclear deal.

By: AP

Iran’s president on Tuesday warned the country could face “some problems” ahead of President Donald Trump’s decision on whether to pull out of its nuclear deal with world powers.

Without directly naming Trump, Rouhani’s remarks at a petroleum conference in Tehran represented the first official Iranian comment on the US president’s overnight tweet that he’d make an announcement on the deal Tuesday.

“It is possible that we will face some problems for two or three months, but we will pass through this,” Rouhani said.

Rouhani also stressed Iran wants to keep “working with the world and constructive engagement with the world.” That appeared to be a nod to Europe, which has struck a series of business deals with Iran since the 2015 nuclear deal.

Rouhani’s remarks appear to a break from his previous combative statements, which talked about a harsh response to any US move against the deal.

Iran likely hopes the European Union will pass laws to protect European firms from any potential US sanctions.

Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal imposed restrictions on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program in return for the lifting of most of the US and international sanctions against Tehran.

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However, the deal came with time limits and did not address Iran’s ballistic missile program or its belligerent regional policies. Trump has repeatedly pointed at that, while referring to the accord as the “worst deal ever.”

Crash of Iran’s economy?

Rouhani, shown smiling and addressing an audience at a table at the expo Tuesday, sought to show calm to Iranians. Meanwhile, Iran’s parliament speaker Ali Larijani reportedly said Trump pulling out of the deal would increase unity among Iranians.

Iran’s Central Bank chief Valiollah Seif also tried to calm nerves, telling state television that the US decisions “does not create a problem” for Iran’s economy. However, many in Tehran and elsewhere in the country are worried about what Trump’s decision could mean for the country.

Already, the Iranian rial is trading on the black market at 66,000 to the dollar, despite the government-set rate being at 42,000 to $1. Many say they have not seen the benefits of the nuclear deal.

Iran’s poor economy and unemployment already sparked nationwide protests in December and January that saw at least 25 people killed and, reportedly, nearly 5,000 arrested.