Iran Lawmakers Burn US Flag, Nuclear Deal

France says the deal isn't dead
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 9, 2018 5:32 AM CDT
Iran Lawmakers Burn US Flag, Nuclear Deal
Iranian lawmakers prepare to burn two pieces of papers representing the US flag and the nuclear deal as they chant slogans against the US at the parliament in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, May 9, 2018.   (AP Photo)

President Trump's decision to pull the US from the Iran nuclear deal drew a fiery response from conservative Iranian lawmakers Wednesday—during the opening session of the country's parliament, they burned a paper American flag and the text of the 2015 deal, chanting "Death to America." But they were scenes of celebration, not anger, the Guardian reports. Hardliners in Iran view the US pullout as an opportunity to gain power over moderates who pushed for the 2015 deal, analysts say. The commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards issued a statement Wednesday congratulating the country over the US move, saying it "was proved once more that US isn't trustworthy in regards its commitments."

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, challenged Trump over the withdrawal Wednesday, saying "You cannot do a damn thing," CNBC reports. But while hardliners are calling for the country to immediately restart its nuclear program, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the deal can still be salvaged. He announced late Tuesday that he will send his foreign minister to visit the other signatories: China, France, Germany, Russia, and the UK. Jean-Yves Le Drian, France's foreign minister, said Wednesday that "the deal is not dead," the BBC reports. "There's an American withdrawal from the deal but the deal is still there," he said. Russian officials said they were "deeply disappointed" by Trump's decision, though it was cheered by Tehran foes Israel and Saudi Arabia. (More Iran stories.)

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