On One-Year Anniversary of JCPOA: Iranian President Threatens to Withdraw From Nuclear Deal if US Doesn’t Live Up to Commitments
Iran threatened to withdraw from the nuclear deal it signed last July with world powers, the London-based pan-Arab daily Asharq Al-Awsat reported on Thursday, on the one-year anniversary of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
According to the report, during a ministerial meeting on Wednesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani declared that if the United States doesn’t live up to its commitments in the JCPOA, Tehran would consider its conditions void. He specified that Iran was capable of quickly resuming the level of uranium enrichment it was supposed to cut as part of the deal, in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions.
As Asharq Al-Awsat reported, under the terms of the JCPOA, which went into effect in January this year, Iran agreed to eliminate its stockpile of medium-enriched uranium; cut its stockpile of low-enriched uranium; and reduce the number of its centrifuges for 13 years.
However, also in January, Iran unveiled a set of centrifuges, which, it claimed, are 15 times more powerful than the ones already in its possession. And on Wednesday, as Rouhani was addressing his government, Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI) announced that the country’s experts are now in the advanced stages of testing these centrifuges.
As The Algemeiner reported, AEOI spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi – like Rouhani – underscored Iran’s ability to resume nuclear activity curbed by the JCPOA, signed with China, France, Russia, the UK, the US and Germany, the powers known as the P5+1.
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.”
These verbal threats come after months of muscle-flexing from Tehran, in the form of ballistic missile-testing, which it claims, does not constitute a violation of the JCPOA.
Speaking to The Algemeiner last month, a senior official at a Washington, DC-based organization active in the Iran deal debate said the “administration’s earlier dishonesty is being exposed and now they are scrambling to cover it up, and that’s creating its own problems. The Obama administration misled the American people, journalists and lawmakers about the extent of American concessions and about what the Iranians were obligated to do as part of the deal. They overplayed Iranian concessions and underplayed American ones. The administration clearly hoped the Iranians would play along for at least a year or two without pushing the envelope and exposing their dishonesty. However, the Iranians refused to play along because they are actually hardliners who want to undermine American interests.”
Last week, as The Algemeiner reported, the annual findings released by the German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) revealed that Tehran has been attempting to acquire illicit materials in Germany, “especially goods that can be used in the field of nuclear technology.”
The BfV also pointed to “a further increase in the already considerable procurement efforts in connection with Iran’s ambitious missile technology program which could, among other things, potentially serve to deliver nuclear weapons. Against this backdrop it is safe to expect that Iran will continue its sensitive procurement activities in Germany using clandestine methods to achieve its objectives.”
Earlier this month, during his weekly Friday prayers in Tehran, Lieutenant Commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp Brigadier General Hossein Salami announced that 100,000 “destructive long-range missiles” in the hands of Tehran’s Lebanon-based proxy Hezbollah are at the ready to wipe Israel off the map. He made this declaration on July 1, as mass rallies were held across Iran to mark International Quds Day, with people carrying placards and chanting “Death to America” and “Death to Israel,” while burning American and Israeli flags.
On Wednesday, Reuters reported, the predominantly Republican US House of Representatives passed legislation to block the purchase of “heavy water” – a non-radioactive byproduct of nuclear energy and weapons production — from Iran.
According to the report, the White House threatened to veto the bill.