With the deadline for U.S. President Donald Trump to recertify the Iran nuclear deal just days away and as new reports expose White House efforts to dig up "dirt" on negotiators of the agreement, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday warned the American president of "historic regret" if he withdraws from the accord and said Iran intends to "confront America's plots against our country."
"We want to preserve our peaceful nuclear technology for electricity, medicine, agriculture, and health...and we do not seek to threaten the world or the region."
—Hassan Rouhani, Iranian President
"We have plans to resist any decision by Trump on the nuclear accord," Rouhani said during a televised speech in northeast Iran, referring to the possibility that Trump may move to reimpose harsh economic sanctions on Iran. "America is making a mistake if it leaves the nuclear accord."
Addressing recent talk of a "better deal" that would place further restrictions on Iran's defensive capacities, Rouhani said, "We will not negotiate with anyone about our weapons and defenses, and we will make and store as many weapons, facilities, and missiles as we need."
"We want to preserve our peaceful nuclear technology for electricity, medicine, agriculture, and health...and we do not seek to threaten the world or the region," Rouhani added, emphasizing that Iran has no plans to develop nuclear weapons even if Trump decides to abandon the nuclear deal on the May 12 deadline.
Rouhani's remarks come less than a week after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu intensified his attacks on the Iran deal with a speech falsely accusing Iran of violating the terms of the nuclear accord—a speech that was quickly seized upon by Trump as evidence that he has been right to disparage the deal as "terrible."
In video statement issued last Friday, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif argued it is Trump, not Iran, that is violating the nuclear agreement "by bullying others to prevent businesses from returning to Iran."
Rouhani's speech also comes amid explosive new reports detailing the Trump administration's decision to hire an Israeli spy agency "to find incriminating material" on both U.S. diplomats who negotiated the nuclear agreement and supporters of the accord.
Denouncing these efforts to discredit the nuclear deal as "beyond reprehensible," National Iranian American Council president Trita Parsi—one of the many individuals targetted by the "diry ops" campaign—noted in a tweet on Sunday that the effort fits a "long-standing pattern in which proponents of war have engaged in extensive efforts to discredit and silence voices in favor of a diplomatic solution with Iran."