Iran threatens to reduce cooperation with N-watchdog; disrupt others’ oil trade
Vienna, July 5: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday, July 4, hardened his country's stand on the nuclear issue, telling the United Nation's nuclear watchdog that Tehran could reduce its co-operation with the latter, Reuters reported.
Rouhani's words came after he warned his American counterpart Donald Trump of "consequences" of fresh sanctions against Iran's oil sale, Reuters added.
On May 8, Trump stunned the world by pulling out of the Iran deal made under his predecessor Barack Obama's time in 2015, citing it as "flawed" which gave undue advantage to Tehran. Washington has taken more strict measures against Iran and has even asked other countries to curb their trade with Iran or face the consequences.
Rouhani, who met Yukiya Amano, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in Vienna, was quoted as saying by Iran's state news agency IRNA after the meeting: "Iran's nuclear activities have always been for peaceful purposes, but it is Iran that would decide on its level of cooperation with the IAEA."
The Iranian president also said that the responsibility for "change" of Iran's cooperation level with the international nuclear watchdog falls on those who "created the new situation", Reuters cited the IRNA as reporting.
Rouhani also took a stern dig at the US's threats over cutting its oil sales, saying Washington clearly did not think about the consequences while eyeing reduction of Iranian oil exports to nil, the Reuters report said.
On Tuesday, July 3, Rouhani also gave indications at disrupting oil shipments from its neighbouring countries if the US tried to cut its crude exports. Iranian Revolutionary Guards official Ismail Kowsari echoed Rouhani's words a day later by threatening to block exports of oil for the Gulf region as a measure of retaliation against Washington's action, the Reuters report added.
"If they want to stop Iranian oil exports, we will not allow any oil shipment to pass through the Strait of Hormuz," Kowsari was quoted as saying by the Young Journalists Club (YJC) website, Reuters added.