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Day After Ditching International Deal, Trump Threatens 'Very Severe Consequence' If Iran Restarts Nuclear Program

Despite Trump's "unlawful" withdrawal, Iranian leaders vowed to negotiate with Europe to keep the nuclear deal intact

President Donald Trump speaks about three hostages released from North Korea, during a Cabinet meeting May 9, 2018 in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Al Drago-Pool/Getty Images)

Less than 24 hours after ditching the international agreement that guaranteed Iran would not develop nuclear weapons, President Donald Trump on Wednesday threatened Iran with a "very severe consequence" if it attempts to pursue a nuke, which it has repeatedly vowed not to do whether the accord remains intact or not.

"Iran will find out, they're gonna find out," Trump said during a Cabinet meeting when asked what he would do if Iran "restarts" its nuclear program. "I don't think they should do that. I would advise Iran not to start their nuclear program. If they do, there will be very severe consequence."

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Responding to Trump's decision to violate the extremely popular and effective nuclear agreement despite pressure from America's European allies, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday accused Trump of telling "over 10 lies" in his speech and denounced the U.S. president for threatening Iran.

"You cannot do a damn thing!" Khamenei said. "The body of this man, Trump, will turn to ashes and become the food of the worms and ants, while the Islamic Republic continues to stand."

While denouncing Trump's decision to abandon the nuclear agreement—which critics said puts the U.S. on the path toward yet another "war of choice" in the Middle East—Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced on Tuesday that he has directed Iran's diplomats to negotiate with European nations to keep the accord intact.

"In response to U.S. persistent violations and unlawful withdrawal from the nuclear deal, as instructed by President Rouhani, I'll spearhead a diplomatic effort to examine whether remaining [nuclear deal] participants can ensure its full benefits for Iran. Outcome will determine our response," tweeted Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on Tuesday following Trump's announcement.

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