President Hassan Rouhani has said Iran would be willing not to abandon its nuclear deal even if the US pulls out, providing the European Union offers guarantees that Tehran would keep benefiting from the accord.
Mr Rouhani’s remarks came ahead of President Donald Trump’s decision expected later this week on whether to pull the US out of the landmark deal between Iran and world powers.
Speaking during a meeting with officials in the north-eastern city of Mashhad, the Iranian leader said a US pullout would be a “strategic mistake”.
He said: “What we want for the deal is that it’s preserved and guaranteed by the non-Americans” — a reference to other signatories of the 2015 agreement.
He added that in this case “then the US pullout will be OK”.
The foreign ministers of France and Germany said later that they will stick to the nuclear agreement, regardless of Mr Trump’s decision.
France’s top diplomat, Jean-Yves Le Drian, said the three European countries that were part of the deal — France, Germany and the UK — are committed to maintaining it.
Mr Le Drian said: “We will continue it independently of the American decision.”
His German counterpart, Heiko Maas, said Berlin also wants to stick by the deal, which “makes the world a safer place and without it the world would be less safe”.