Iran nuclear chief tells AP program stronger than ever

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's nuclear chief tells The Associated Press that he hopes the atomic deal between Tehran and world powers survives, but warns the program will be in a stronger position than ever if not.

Ali Akbar Salehi also told the AP in an exclusive interview Tuesday in Tehran that the "consequences . will be harsh" if there are any new attacks targeting Iran's nuclear scientists. A string of bombings, blamed on Israel, targeted scientists beginning in 2010 at the height of Western concerns over Iran's program.

Salehi also said that President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw America from the 2015 accord "puts him on the loser's side" of history.

He added: "That deal could have paved the way for building the trust and the confidence that we had lost."