Iran’s Atomic Boss Warns Trump

Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran’s atomic agency, warned President Donald Trump that if he tears the 2015 nuclear agreement apart Iran will “increase its nuclear activities at a more advanced level.”  Salehi’s remarks were in reaction to Trump’s phone conversation with the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu. Both Trump and Netanyahu have been highly critical of the Obama administration’s decision to reach a diplomatic deal with Tehran that was solely focused on Iran’s nuclear program and avoided tackling Tehran’s controversial policies in the Middle East.

Salehi echoed other senior Iranian officials as he stated that Tehran has no intentions to “prematurely judge Trump” but that all options are also available to Tehran. He said that “Trump’s decision not to mention Iran in his inauguration” should be seen as a “positive” step. Salehi also dismissed US fears about Iran’s long-range missile programs. “The United State is 10,000 miles away from Iran and we have never had any intentions to make such missiles to reach [the United States]. But he warned that Iran will not hesitate to return to an expanded nuclear program if the Trump administration looks to question the 2015 deal. “We have proven in the past that we can and will intensify our nuclear efforts when [nuclear] agreements fall apart."