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July 13, 2016 12:16 pm

Ahead of One-Year Anniversary of JCPOA, Iran Boasts New Generation of Powerful Centrifuges, Threatens to Resume Nuclear Activity

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Iran announced it is testing a new generation of centrifuges that are 15 times more powerful than the ones currently in use. Photo: US Department of Energy.

Iran announced it is testing a new generation of centrifuges that are 15 times more powerful than the ones currently in use. Photo: US Department of Energy.

Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI) announced Wednesday that the country’s experts are testing a new generation of centrifuges, the Islamic Republic’s semi-official state news agency Fars reported. 

AEOI spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi was referring to the centrifuges Iran unveiled in January, which, it claimed, are 15 times more powerful than the ones already in its possession.

According to Fars, Kamalvandi emphasized Iran’s capability to resume the nuclear activities currently frozen by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the deal that Tehran signed with the P5+1 powers exactly a year ago.

Referring to and warning those powers  — China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States and Germany — Kamalvandi said, “They have seen how smart our scientists are and we are not therefore concerned about returning to the past conditions and capacities and we are able to develop even more than the past.”

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Kamalvandi’s comments echo similar claims made earlier in July by Alaeddin Boroujerdi — chairman of the Iranian parliament’s national security and foreign policy commission — who warned that his country would “resume large-scale uranium enrichment” if the West doesn’t give Tehran the economic support it claims it is entitled to under the JCPOA. 

Iran’s threats come amid reports from Washington that US lawmakers are seeking legal channels through which to quell the Obama administration’s power to make further concessions to Iran.

Speaking to the Washington Free Beacon this week, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) — a leading member of the House Intelligence Committee — accused the administration of “misleading members of Congress, and the American people, on critical issues of national security.”

Pompeo — who said such deceit is “tragically becoming commonplace” by the administration — believes the White House is not being honest about the extent to which the US has been conceding to Iran beyond the terms of the nuclear agreement.

“Although the Obama administration likes to operate as if it is in a vacuum — free of any challenges to its Iran policy — it is not,” he stated.

Pompeo’s comments reflect similar sentiments among many Washington lawmakers and political insiders, who have criticized the US president for rewarding Iran for its seemingly bad behavior.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, foreign policy columnist Bret Stephens — a vocal critic of the Iran deal — slammed the Obama administration for its dealings with Tehran.

Referencing a recent bombshell German intelligence report — revealing that Iran has increased its efforts to acquire illegal nuclear materials in Germany — Stephens wrote:

For the past year it [the administration] has developed a narrative — spoon-fed to the reporters and editorial writers Ben Rhodes publicly mocks as dopes and dupes — that Iran has met all its obligations under the deal, and now deserves extra cookies in the form of access to US dollars, Boeing jets, US purchases of Iranian heavy water (thereby subsidizing its nuclear program), and other concessions the administration last year promised Congress it would never grant…

Mr. Obama says Iran is honoring the nuclear deal, but German intelligence tells us Tehran is violating it more aggressively than ever. He promised ‘snapback’ sanctions in the event of such violations, but the US is operating as Iran’s trade-promotion agent. He promised ‘unprecedented’ inspections, but we’re not permitted to inspect sites where uranium was found. He promised an eight-year ban on Iran’s testing of ballistic missiles, but Tehran violated that ban immediately and repeatedly with only mild pushback from the West. He promised that the nuclear deal was not about ‘normalizing relations with a rogue regime….

Is Mr. Obama rationalizing a failed agreement or did he mean to mislead the American public? Either way, truth is catching up with the Iran deal.

Thursday, July 14 marks the one-year anniversary of the signing of the JCPOA.

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