I think the U.S. is off Iran’s Christmas list.
After President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. was pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal on Wednesday, Iran threw a terroristic temper tantrum in their parliament that involved burning a piece of paper with the American flag printed on it, and chanting “death to America.”
According to the Associated Press, this is the first time something like this has been done within the parliamentary building:
Earlier Wednesday, the lawmakers, including a Shiite cleric, held the flaming flag alight as their colleagues joined their chants. They also burned a piece of paper representing the nuclear deal and stomped on the papers’ ashes.
While U.S. flag-burning is common in Iran and harsh criticism of America has been a staple of Iranian parliamentary politics for years, it was the first time political observers could remember anything being burned inside the parliament itself.
— خبرگزاری فارس (@FarsNews_Agency) May 9, 2018
The nuclear deal with Iran that was made by Obama was something Trump had labeled “the worst deal ever” due to it ignoring Iran’s military support for terrorist groups within the region, as well as its failure to address Iran’s ballistics program. This is, essentially a dentist telling a kid with bad dental hygiene that he can no longer eat Hershey’s products, but that everything from Wonka is fine.
While the U.S. may have pulled out of the Iran deal, countries within the EU have remained in it. This has prompted Iranian officials to run to these countries in hopes of protecting Iran from being cut off by European companies by U.S. sanctions. However, trust in these three countries isn’t necessarily well placed according to Iran.
“I do not trust these three countries,” said Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of France, Germany, and Britain. “If you succeed in getting guarantees (from them), then, no problem, go ahead. If you cannot, then it is not possible to continue in this way.”
Of course, while the EU is still in support of the Iran deal, Iranian officials say that they may restart their nuclear program at any time, according to the Associated Press:
Still, Rouhani made a point of stressing that Iran, at any time, could resume its nuclear program.
“If necessary, we can begin our industrial enrichment without any limitations,” the Iranian leader said. “Until implementation of this decision, we will wait for some weeks and will talk with our friends and allies and other signatories of the nuclear deal, who signed it and who will remain loyal to it. Everything depends on our national interests.”
After the flag burning, parliament speaker Ali Larijani said responsibility for saving the deal fell on the EU and other world powers still in the accord.
“The period is only a window in which the EU can prove if it has enough weight for settling international issues,” he said.
Larijani also urged the country’s nuclear agency to prepare for “resumption of all aspects of nuclear activities.”
This isn’t a particularly wise move by Iran. If they are reliant on these European countries to save them from sanctions, then restarting the nuclear program that prompted the creation of the original deal may turn the EU sour.