Iran president warns of ‘problems’ as Trump decision looms

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In this photo released by an official website of the office of the Iranian Presidency, President Hassan Rouhani attends a meeting with officials and industrialists, at a petroleum conference in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, May 8, 2018. 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. (Iranian Presidency Office via AP)

PV International Desk : Iran’s president on Tuesday warned the country could face “some problems,” just hours before President Donald Trump was to announce whether he is pulling America out of the nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.

Without directly naming Trump, Hassan Rouhani’s remarks at a petroleum conference in Tehran represented the first official Iranian comment on the U.S. 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 landmark 2015 nuclear deal.

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

Later Tuesday, Trump and the United States also came under fire from Iran’s first vice president, Eshaq Jahangiri, a popular reformist politician who has been suggested as a possible presidential contender in Iran’s 2021 election.

“Today, the biggest power in the world is yelling that it does not accept it (the deal),” Jahangiri said, according to the semi-official ISNA news agency. “It’s up to them what to do with the deal, but (from now on) naive individuals would accept to enter talks with such a country.”

“We are ready and have plan for managing the country under any circumstance,” he added.

Jahangiri’s comments suggest a coming political turn against any rapprochement with the West if Trump pulls out of the deal, especially as he is a reformist — a politician who advocates for change to Iran’s theocratic government. It also comes as Trump is set to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un later this year, where negotiations will undoubtedly include talks about the Asian country’s atomic weapons program.

Trump’s tweet came late on Monday night, meaning major newspapers across Iran missed the announcement for their front pages.

Iran’s state-run television broadcaster carried the announcement at 10 a.m. local time, and Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency also carried a report on it.

Overnight, Iran’s semi-official news agencies carried the news off Trump’s tweet, while others shared foreign media reports online.