While Haley seems to be laying the case that such US behavior would not constitute a deal violation, the view in Tehran indicates otherwise. Iran has prepared itself for different situations, and Iranian officials believe the United States has already violated the spirit — and letter — of the JCPOA.
For instance, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted Aug. 11: “POTUS always wanted to kill JCPOA. To avoid isolation, he’s trying to blame it on Iran. Bad faith on top of US violating the letter & spirit.”
These are the moderate voices coming out of Iran these days. Meanwhile, the hard-liners have always criticized the Rouhani administration for showing weakness and continually giving in to US demands. They have also, for a long time, accused the United States of not abiding by the JCPOA and even tricking Iran.
So what are Iran’s options in such a situation where the United States maintains its negative attitude toward the JCPOA? In a Sept. 5 interview with KhabarOnline, Zarif said, “At present, the Europeans are emphasizing the matter that they would be committed to the JCPOA under any conditions, even if the United States leaves it.”
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also urged Europe to put pressure on the United States and force it to comply with its commitments under the nuclear deal at a Sept. 16 meeting with the president of the Belgian Chamber of Representatives in Tehran. Rouhani tried to pursue this same approach while delivering his speech at the UN General Assembly on Sept. 20 and warned the United States against leaving the JCPOA, saying it would only destroy US credibility — particularly in the face of the North Korean nuclear crisis.