Iran vows to start World War 3 and destroy Israel if Donald Trump breaches the nuclear deal. Iran is preparing for a nuclear World War 3 after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani stated that the U.S. was in “violation” of the Iran nuclear deal. The nuclear accord was negotiated by outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama in 2015 and halted the Mideast country’s nuclear program in exchange for lifting economy-crippling sanctions.

Iran Hassan Rouhani World War 3
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan says Iran is prepared to start World War 3 if U.S. President-elect Donald Trump meddles with the nuclear deal. He warned that Israel – his country’s traditional enemy – and the Gulf states would be destroyed by his country if Trump actually delivers on his campaign promise to redo the Iran nuclear deal.

“Enemies may want to impose a war on us based on false calculations and only taking into consideration their material capabilities,” Dehghan told a security conference in Tehran on Sunday, according to the Mehr news agency.

The Iranian defense minister warns that such a war would mean “the destruction” of Israel that would involve the whole region and even lead to World War 3. Dehghan also added that any war involving Iran would mean the destruction of the “city-states on the southern shore of the Persian Gulf,” referring to the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Qatar.

However, Dehghan still believes that World War 3 could be avoided if Trump proves to be a smart businessman. He says the U.S. President-elect measures “the cost of everything in dollars,” which is why it would be counterproductive to “take strong action” against Iran.

What happens if Trump violates the Iran nuclear deal?

During his presidential campaign, Trump made a series of comments about the 2015 Iran nuclear deal negotiated between Obama, the U.K., Russia, China, France and Germany on one side, and Iran on the other side. Trump promised to redo the nuclear deal with Iran, calling it a “disastrous” deal. If the President-elect pulls out from the nuclear accord, it could isolate the U.S. from the international community.

China and Iran have already urged him not to nullify the Iran nuclear deal, which lifted international sanctions against the country and freed up tens of billions of dollars in frozen assets. In fact, Trump’s decision to undo the nuclear accord would alienate Russia and not allow Trump to amend relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The international community would refuse to re-impose sanctions against Iran, as many countries have already started making trade deals with Tehran.

The economy-crippling sanctions against Iran never limited Iran’s nuclear development, which means re-imposing them would have little to no effect. Tehran grew the number of its centrifuges from 164 (in 2003) to a whopping 19,000 (in 2013).

If Trump nullifies or pulls out of the Iran nuclear deal, Tehran may take it as an excuse to start enriching uranium even more actively and developing nuclear weapons, which could eventually lead to World War 3.

Iran’s president vows to work on nuclear-powered vessels

Iran already seems to be worried about Trump’s presidency. Tehran is apparently willing to return to a path of tension with the West.

On Tuesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani ordered scientists to start developing systems for nuclear-powered boats. The news comes a few weeks after the U.S. Congress extended legislation making it easier for Washington to re-impose sanctions on Tehran. Rouhani’s announcement comes after he called the move America’s violation of the Iran nuclear deal.

He described the newly-ordered technology as a “nuclear propeller to be used in marine transportation.” He didn’t specify if the technology is meant to be used only on ships or also on submarines. In 2012, Iran declared that it was developing its first nuclear-powered submarine, which could benefit from the nuclear systems that are now under development.

“With regards to recent (U.S. congress) legislation to extend the Iran Sanctions Act, I order the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran to … plan the design and construction of a nuclear propeller to be used in marine transportation to be used in marine transportation,” Rouhani wrote in a letter published by state news agency IRNA.

The Iranian president accused the U.S. of not “fully” delivering on its commitments in the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

U.S. paves the way to re-impose sanctions against Iran

U.S. Congress members, however, assert that their measures to make it easier to re-impose sanctions against Iran don’t violate the nuclear accord. The extension of the bill only gives the U.S. the power to re-impose sanctions if the country violates the deal.

Washington claims that it has lifted all the sanctions under the nuclear accord which was negotiated in 2015 to stop Tehran from developing nuclear weapons. Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said after the U.S. Congress adopted the extension that it was a violation of the deal and promised that Iran would “definitely react to it.”

Will re-imposing sanctions on Iran lead to World War 3?

However, it’s worrisome that Trump appointed retired General James “Mad Dog” Mattis as his administration’s secretary of defense. Mattis is still very hostile toward Iran and apparently lost his job as U.S. CENTCOM commander under Obama because of his extreme attitudes.

Mattis has previously referred to Iran as the “single most enduring threat to stability and peace in the Middle East.” The U.S. President-elect and Republicans have repeatedly vowed to constrain Iran’s influence in the region and expressed little interest in Tehran’s reintegration into the global economy.

It will be challenging for Trump to re-impose sanctions against Iran. However, the U.S. President has powerful leverage: European and Asian banks. If the international community refuses to re-impose sanctions against Tehran after the U.S. does so, Trump could put major European and Asian banks under pressure and even hit them with U.S. sanctions as well. In that case, European and Asian nations would have to choose between Iran and the U.S.