Iran’s options numerous if JCPOA violated: Shamkhani
Iran has multiple options at its disposal in case of any violation of the landmark nuclear agreement signed between Tehran and the group of six countries known as the P5+1, a senior Iranian official says.
“We have various alternatives but we will certainly not trigger any option, which would violate this international pact,” Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani said on Tuesday.
He added that the nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), is an international treaty and all sides must remain committed to their obligations under the deal.
Shamkhani emphasized that Iran’s “maneuvering power” in the face of any breach of the JCPOA would definitely serve as a deterrent.
The SNSC secretary said Iran has not violated the JCPOA so far and various reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency have verified that the Islamic Republic has fulfilled all its commitments under the nuclear agreement.
“Such a positive performance [by Iran] naturally requires a positive response [from the P5+1 countries],” Shamkhani pointed out.
He said the US and its Western allies have in some cases failed to fulfill their commitments, warning that Iran would “activate its planned strategies” in case of the continuation of such a trend.
Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the United States, France, Britain, China and Russia – plus Germany started to implement the JCPOA on January 16.
Under the JCPOA, Iran undertook to put limitations on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related bans imposed against Tehran.
Ever since the deal was struck, its opponents in the US Congress have been threatening that a future US administration opposed to the agreement would scrap it.
The GOP-controlled US House of Representatives on November 15 passed a bill for a 10-year extension of the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA). The ISA will expire at the end of 2016 if it is not renewed. The bill must be approved by the Senate before being signed by the US president into law.
Iran has warned that the renewal of sanctions against Iran by the US is tantamount to the violation of commitments under the JCPOA.
“‘Initiating sanctions’ is no different from ‘renewing them after their expiration,’ and the latter is also [an instance of imposing] sanctions and violation of the previous commitments by the opposite side,” Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said on Sunday.
On Monday, Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, said that Iran has made necessary preparations and is ready to respond if the US violates the JCPOA.