Iran vows to restart nuclear program if deal collapses

Iran says it is ready to restart its nuclear program on an "industrial scale" in the wake of the decision by US Presi...

Posted: May 12, 2018 11:17 AM
Updated: May 12, 2018 11:17 AM

Iran says it is ready to restart its nuclear program on an "industrial scale" in the wake of the decision by US President Donald Trump to abandon the deal that curbs the country's nuclear ambitions.

In a statement published Friday, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said he would embark on a round of international diplomacy to try and save the deal. At the same time, the country would make preparations to restart its program of nuclear enrichment, he said.

Zarif's comments came as thousands of Iranians took to the streets in the largest demonstration since Trump announced his decision Tuesday.

Protesters burned an American flag and railed against the US and Israel after emerging from Friday prayers in Tehran.

In his statement, Zarif accused Trump of "ignorance and folly" and said American foreign policy had "dragged the Middle East into chaos."

He said Iran would attempt to save the nuclear deal through negotiations with the European nations who were co-signatories to the deal. Zarif will meet Tuesday with his counterparts from Germany, France and the UK in Brussels.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the US decision to withdraw from the deal was a serious blow. Speaking at a Catholic Day conference in Muenster on Friday, Merkel said it would be difficult to keep the deal alive, given that a "huge economic power has left".

"We hope we can, but there are a lot of things playing a role in this," she said. "We will have to discuss that with Iran."

In Tehran, anger has grown not just over Trump's move but also Israel's barrage of air attacks on Iranian targets in Syria, in response to what Israel claimed was an Iranian rocket attack on the Golan Heights.

Iran's Foreign Ministry condemned the strikes, calling them a "blatant violation of the country's sovereignty."

On Thursday, Israel claimed it had struck almost all of Iran's military capabilities in Syria after the rocket attack on the Golan Heights, which Israel annexed in 1981.

There has been no official declaration by the Iranian government that it was responsible for the attack on the Golan Heights, nor any acknowledgment that Iran's military presence in Syria was impacted by the Israeli strikes.

The White House on Friday released a statement accusing Iran of "exporting destabilizing influence throughout the Middle East, even as the Iranian people are victims of a struggling economy."

The statement said "the Iranian regime's reckless actions pose a severe threat to regional peace and security."

In Iran, the news of the fighting was reported as a conflict between Syria and Israel. No mention was made of the involvement of Iran's military assets in Syria, which have long helped prop up the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Zarif made no mention of the flare-up with Israel, but said the country had the right to defend itself, particularly in the light of the eight-year war with Iraq that began when the regime of Saddam Hussein invaded Iran in 1980. Zarif accused the US and its allies of fomenting unrest in the Middle East, "turning our region into a powder keg through their sale of hundreds of billions of dollars of useless advanced weaponry."

Protests

On the streets of Tehran, anger was directed at both Trump and Israel.

Ahmad Khatami, leader of the Friday Prayer, vowed Iran would turn "Tel Aviv and Haifa to dust" if attacked by Israel.

"We are not interested in the atomic bomb, but we are increasing our missile capabilities in other fields so that Israel cannot sleep well," he was quoted as saying by semi-official ISNA News Agency.

In a YouTube statement on Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Iran had "crossed a red line," and that Israel's action was appropriate.

"Whoever hits us will get hit seven times over. Whoever prepares themselves to attack us will be attacked first. That is what we have done and that is what we will continue doing," Netanyahu said.

Israel annexed the Golan Heights in 1981 after capturing it from Syria in the Six Day War in 1967.

The international community has never recognized the annexation and regards the Golan Heights as Israeli-occupied territory.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 20573

Reported Deaths: 878
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin6918534
Ramsey231697
Stearns192312
Nobles14572
Anoka116455
Dakota105935
Olmsted55110
Washington50626
Kandiyohi4541
Clay36623
Rice3652
Scott3462
Wright2401
Sherburne2081
Todd1970
Benton1662
Carver1612
Mower1501
Steele1400
Martin1245
Blue Earth1121
St. Louis11113
Pine850
Freeborn840
Winona7715
Carlton730
Nicollet683
Cottonwood620
Polk582
Otter Tail550
Itasca527
Goodhue522
Watonwan500
Chisago481
Dodge430
Meeker420
Crow Wing421
Le Sueur411
Chippewa400
Jackson390
Morrison380
Murray350
Becker320
Lyon310
Douglas290
McLeod260
Isanti250
Waseca240
Rock210
Unassigned199
Fillmore171
Mille Lacs161
Wabasha160
Swift150
Sibley120
Beltrami120
Wilkin113
Norman110
Kanabec111
Cass113
Faribault110
Brown112
Pipestone100
Marshall80
Pennington70
Pope70
Aitkin60
Wadena60
Yellow Medicine50
Koochiching50
Lincoln50
Mahnomen51
Renville50
Lac qui Parle30
Red Lake30
Big Stone30
Redwood30
Traverse30
Grant20
Houston20
Clearwater20
Hubbard10
Kittson10
Lake10
Roseau10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 17227

Reported Deaths: 456
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk3714108
Woodbury255524
Black Hawk167639
Linn92775
Marshall86611
Dallas84914
Johnson5987
Muscatine54339
Wapello5004
Crawford4772
Tama39023
Louisa3347
Scott3319
Dubuque31916
Jasper25616
Buena Vista2310
Pottawattamie2106
Sioux1990
Washington1798
Allamakee1184
Wright1170
Plymouth1080
Warren1060
Story941
Poweshiek888
Bremer676
Henry611
Clinton601
Boone540
Des Moines531
Mahaska526
Cedar451
Guthrie433
Taylor370
Benton371
Jones360
Monroe334
Iowa320
Clarke320
Osceola320
Shelby310
Buchanan310
Clayton303
Marion290
Webster271
Fayette260
Hamilton260
Madison241
Monona230
Cerro Gordo221
Lee220
Winneshiek210
Davis200
Lyon190
Grundy190
Harrison190
Floyd181
Jefferson150
Cherokee150
Butler150
Mills140
Delaware140
Humboldt130
Sac130
Greene130
Keokuk130
Hardin130
Howard120
Hancock120
Appanoose123
Audubon111
Jackson110
Cass110
Ida100
Page100
Clay100
Winnebago100
Carroll90
Van Buren80
Franklin80
Dickinson80
Adair80
Chickasaw80
Kossuth70
Emmet70
Lucas60
Montgomery60
Union60
Adams50
Ringgold40
Fremont40
Pocahontas40
Mitchell40
Palo Alto30
Worth30
Unassigned30
Calhoun20
Wayne10
Decatur00
Rochester
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 75°
Mason City
Broken Clouds
76° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 76°
Albert Lea
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 73°
Austin
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 79°
Charles City
Scattered Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 75°
Storms a brewin'
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Will Memorial Day cause a coronavirus spike?

Image

Can you catch Covid-19 from mosquitos?

Image

125 Live Restaurant partnership

Image

Taps in City Park

Image

100 Most traveled days in MN have begun

Image

Parade in the park

Image

Field of Flags

Image

Pausing the pandemic to remember the fallen

Image

Memorial Day Dinner

Image

Salvation Army Dental Care Needs PPE

Community Events