Iran’s nuclear chief says it would be humiliating for Europe to follow suit with the US policy on the nuclear deal with Iran, which is officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Ali Akbar Salehi, who heads the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), made the remarks in an exclusive interview with the IRIB on Sunday, when he was asked about the possible reaction of the European countries in case US President Donald Trump decides to quit the nuclear accord with Iran.
“This is a very complicated question in political terms and needs extensive analysis…. Suffice to say that it will be politically derogatory for Europe to follow the US policy on the JCPOA” unquestioningly, because it proves that European countries lack independence in their decision-making process, he said.
He added that the main responsibility of the AEOI is to make preparations to deal with this scenario, adding that the organization has already got ready in this regard in all related fields.
Salehi once again warned Europeans against following in Washington’s footsteps on the landmark nuclear deal, saying, “This means that Europe is not an independent body and is a satellite in the US political orbit.”
The US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said on Thursday that Washington would probably get out of the Iran nuclear deal and re-impose sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
She accused Iran of supporting terrorism and violating the terms of the JCPOA and said Europeans were closing their eyes on this, but added that the US would not do so.
US President Donald Trump on January 12 once again threatened to withdraw from the nuclear deal if some “disastrous flaws” were not fixed.
Trump said he wanted America’s European allies to use the 120-day period before sanctions relief again came up for renewal to agree to tougher measures and new conditions, otherwise Washington would pull out of the deal.
In response to a question about the possibility of a US move to re-impose sanctions on Tehran, Salehi said Iran “has necessary readiness to start enriching uranium to the 20-percent level at its Fordow facility within four days.”
A senior Iranian lawmaker said on Sunday the Islamic Republic would definitely walk away from the JCPOA if the United States re-imposes sanctions on Tehran.
A senior Iranian lawmaker says Iran will definitely walk away from the JCPOA if the US re-imposes sanctions on Tehran.
“The most important objective of the JCPOA was the lifting of sanctions,” Chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy Alaeddin Boroujerdi said, adding, “If … sanctions are re-imposed on Iran, we definitely will not remain in the JCPOA.”
AEOI spokesman, Behrouz Kamalvandi, said in January that Iran is capable of multiplying the pace of its nuclear activities — especially uranium enrichment — compared to the time when the JCPOA had not yet been concluded if the United States violates the deal.
Iran says it can substantially increase the pace of its nuclear activities compared to the time when the international deal on its nuclear program had not been concluded.
Kamalvandi added that the body had reported to the country’s highest authorities about its capacity to increase the pace of nuclear activities to several times the speed at which they were underway prior to the deal.
Iran will unveil new nuclear achievements
Salehi said Iran plans to unveil 83 new nuclear achievements on Monday on the occasion of national Nuclear Technology Day in the presence of President Hassan Rouhani.
He added that such achievements include projects in the fields of industry, exploration and extraction as well as centrifuge research.
“These projects have been implemented despite restrictions thanks to efforts made by experts of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran,” he said.
Salehi emphasized that the AEOI is constantly monitoring developments in the nuclear technology sector and noted that Iranian experts have been very successful in making attempts to narrow the gap between Iran and developed countries.