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US flag set ablaze as Iran says it has ‘no obligation to honor nuke deal’

A screengrab picture on May 8, 2018 shows President Hassan Rouhani giving a speech on Iranian TV in Tehran. (Reuters)

Iran's parliament speaker said President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of a 2015 international nuclear deal was a violation of an agreement that would isolate the United States, state television reported on Wednesday.

"Trump's abandoning of the nuclear deal was a diplomatic show ... Iran has no obligation to honor its commitments under the current situation ... It is a threat to peace and security ... I am not sure whether the European signatories of the deal will fulfill their promises," Ali Larijani said.

"It is obvious that Trump only understands the language of force."

Trump on Tuesday pulled the United States out of the deal, raising the risk of conflict in the Middle East, upsetting European allies and casting uncertainty over global oil supplies.

Meanwhile, Iranian lawmakers lit a paper US flag on fire at parliament on Wednesday.

Lawmakers held the impromptu demonstration the day after Trump's decision. They also burned a piece of paper representing the nuclear deal.

The chant "Death to America" long has been used in Iran since its 1979 Islamic Revolution. It also has been common to hear it within parliament.

However, Wednesday's demonstration reflected public anger in Iran after Trump's decision.

Iran's 2015 nuclear deal imposed restrictions on its nuclear program in return for the lifting of most U.S. and international sanctions.

However, the deal came with time limits and did not address Iran's ballistic missile program or its regional policies in Syria and elsewhere. Trump has repeatedly pointed to those omissions in referring to the accord as the "worst deal ever." Proponents of the deal have said those time limits were meant to encourage more discussion with Iran in the future that could eventually address other concerns.

Many Iranians are worried about what Trump's decision could mean for their country.

The Iranian rial is already trading on the black market at 66,000 to the dollar, despite a government-set rate of 42,000 rials. Many say they have not seen any benefits from the nuclear deal.

Iran's poor economy and unemployment sparked nationwide protests in December and January that saw at least 25 people killed and, reportedly, nearly 5,000 arrested.
 

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Last Update: Wednesday, 9 May 2018 KSA 09:36 - GMT 06:36
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