Oct. 18 (UPI) -- Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said Wednesday that Tehran will ditch the landmark 2015 nuclear agreement if the United States decertifies it, as President Donald Trump has promised to do.
"If [the] U.S. rips up the deal, Iran will tear it into shreds," Khamenei told an audience of of young scholars and Olympics competitors Wednesday.
Khamenei also touted Iran's progress in the face of what he called U.S. aggression.
"We managed to stop the dominance of the U.S. Furthermore, despite animosity of the U.S., we became powerful, and progressed."
The ayatollah called the United States an "international Zionist agent," a reference to Washington's defense of Israel, and blamed the U.S. government for the rise of the Islamic State terrorist network.
Referring to the nuclear deal -- known officially as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and brokered among Iran and six Western powers -- Khamenei said the deal "serves their interests, but we will not tear up the deal before the other party does. If they tear up JCPOA, we shred it."
Khamenei was particularly critical of President Donald Trump, who last week threatened to junk the agreement if Congress and U.S. allies do not agree to strengthen it.
"I do not want to send time to answer the foul-mouthed president of the U.S. It is a waste of time," Khamenei said.