TEHRAN, Iran | The Latest: John Kerry cautions 'new arms race' is underway

TEHRAN, Iran | The Latest: John Kerry cautions ‘new arms race’ is underway

TEHRAN, Iran — The Latest on Iran’s nuclear deal (all times local):

4 p.m.

Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who led President Obama’s efforts to broker the Iran nuclear deal, cautioned that a “new arms race” was taking place and endangering other weapons reduction treaties.

Kerry spoke on Tuesday in Milan, ahead of President Donald Trump’s planned announcement on whether to pull America out of the nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.

Kerry told a conference on food innovation that “dangerously, we find ourselves today with certain individuals who are talking about a new arms race,” and that the money it will cost “should be going to health and going to building schools and going to building infrastructures and building the future, instead building weapons.”

He said the moves were putting at risk both the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty that ended the U.S.-Soviet arms race.

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3:50 p.m.

Ahead of President Donald Trump’s decision on the nuclear deal, Iran’s first vice president is saying now only the “naive” would negotiate with the United States.

Iran’s semi-official ISNA news agency reported the comments on Tuesday from Eshaq Jahangiri, a popular reformist politician who has been suggested as a possible presidential contender in Iran’s 2021 election.

ISNA quoted Jahangiri as saying: “Today, the biggest power in the world is yelling that it does not accept it, it’s up to them what to do with the deal, but (from now on) naive individuals would accept to enter talks with such a country.”

He added: “We are ready and have plan for managing the country under any circumstance.”

Jahangiri’s comments suggest a coming political turn against any rapprochement with the West if Trump pulls out of the deal, especially as he is a reformist — a politician who advocates for change to Iran’s theocratic government

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3:20 p.m.

The Kremlin is warning that a “very serious situation” will emerge if President Donald Trump pulls the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov made the comments on Tuesday, ahead of a planned announcement by Trump at the White House.

Peskov says that “it goes without saying that there will emerge a very serious situation” should America pull out of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.

Russia was one of the powers involved in the pact, which saw Iran agree to limit its atomic program in exchange for economic sanctions being lifted.

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1:30 p.m.

Iranian state TV is reporting that the country’s central bank head believes a U.S. pullout from the nuclear deal will not have a significant effect on Iran’s economy.

The Tuesday online report quoted Valiollah Seif as saying: “It doesn’t have a significant effect.”

However, many in Tehran and elsewhere in the country are worried about what Trump’s decision could mean for the country.

Already, the Iranian national currency, the rial, is trading on the black market at 66,000 to the dollar, despite the government-set rate being at 42,000 to $1.

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

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11:30 a.m.

Iran’s parliamentary speaker says a possible U.S. pullout from the nuclear deal by President Donald Trump will lead to more unity among Iranians.

Tuesday’s report by parliament’s news website, icana.ir, quotes Ali Larijani as saying: “Mr. Trump: … Rest assured that this loyalty in nuclear issue will (encourage) the great Iranian nation to continue on the path of the Islamic Revolution firmly behind the leadership of its supreme leader.”

Trump’s tweeted late on Monday night to say that he plans to announce his decision about whether to pull America out of the deal on Tuesday.

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11:15 a.m.

Iran’s president has acknowledged the country could “face some problems” ahead of President Donald Trump’s planned announcement on whether America will pull out of the nuclear deal.

President Hassan Rouhani made the comments at a meeting at a petroleum expo in Tehran on Tuesday.

Rouhani says: “It is possible that we will face some problems for two or three months, but we will pass through this.”

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10:30 a.m.

Iran has woken up to news that President Donald Trump plans to announce his decision about whether to pull America out of the nuclear deal between Tehran and with world powers.

Trump’s tweet came late on Monday night, meaning major newspapers across Iran missed the announcement for their front pages.

Iran’s state-run television broadcaster carried the announcement at 10 a.m. local time, and Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency also carried a report on it.

Overnight, Iran’s semi-official news agencies carried the news off Trump’s tweet, while others shared foreign media reports online.

Trump’s announcement, set for the 2 p.m. EST at the White House, will come after nightfall in Iran. Iranian officials offered no immediate reaction to Trump’s upcoming decision.

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By Associated Press – published on STL.News by St. Louis Media, LLC (Z.S)

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