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Iran sent ‘clear message’ to ‘israel’ by foiling sabotage at Fordow: Nuclear chief

The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) says the country showed that it remains vigilant in the face of threats by thwarting a recent act of sabotage at Fordow nuclear plant.

Mohammad Eslami made the remarks in an interview with Radio Tehran on Wednesday, days after the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) captured an agent paid by Israel attempting to approach a person working with advanced IR-6 centrifuges at the nuclear plant near the central city of Qom.

“This measure sent a clear message to the Zionist regime, and that the Iranian intelligence and security systems are fully prepared against any threat,” he said.

Iran showed to the world the peaceful nature of its nuclear program by signing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with six world states — namely the US, Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China — in 2015.

The US under former president Donald Trump, however, unilaterally pulled out of the deal in May 2018 and re-instated unilateral sanctions against Tehran despite objections from the other signatories and the international community.

Following a year of strategic patience, Iran resorted to its legal rights stipulated in Article 26 of the JCPOA, which grants a party the right to suspend its contractual commitments in case of non-compliance by other signatories, and let go of some of the restrictions imposed on its nuclear energy program.

Now, the administration of US President Joe Biden says it wants to compensate for Trump’s mistake and rejoin the deal, but it is showing an overriding propensity for maintaining the sanctions as a tool of pressure.

Tehran insists that all sanctions should first be removed in a verifiable manner before the Islamic Republic reverses its remedial measures. It also wants guarantees from the US that its new administration will not abandon the JCPOA once again. 

Referring to the talks in Vienna aimed at reviving the JCPOA, Eslami said Iran has neither tied its economy nor its nuclear program to the negotiations.

He stressed that the Americans need to take political decisions to return to their commitments under the JCPOA.

Iran’s nuclear chief noted that, “There is no question regarding the country’s return to its commitments under the deal as Tehran fully fulfilled its obligations. But the other side did not keep its end of the bargain. These two actions are reciprocal. If they want to fulfill their obligations fully, we will take action in accordance with their measures and will reach an agreement.”

‘Significant nuclear achievements’

Eslami further announced that on the National Nuclear Technology Day, which falls on April 9, Iran will unveil important programs and achievements in the fields of health, agriculture and radiation of products and foodstuff.

Additionally, he complained that Iran’s nuclear program and the AEOI activities are subjected to an oppressive and illegal campaign.

“Fixing this issue requires that we have accurate and intelligent moves in AEOI programs, and rid the country of this artificial challenge and tensions in the nuclear field by establishing correct interactions,” he said.

“Nuclear technology has a wide range of dimensions, and unfortunately, the usurping Zionist regime tries to mount pressure on Iran by insinuating a deviation in its nuclear program.”

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