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No way left for Iran but confrontation: Larijani


Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani says Iran is left with no choice but to confront the US for its “injurious” measures, calling on the country’s top nuclear body to launch a uranium enrichment plant. 

Larijani on Wednesday touched on three bills being advanced by US lawmakers against Iran’s nuclear accord and the UN chief’s disparaging report about its implementation.

“Majlis, utterly regretting the UN chief’s move, is warning the US administration and its House of Representatives and Senate that injurious measures against the nuclear agreement have reached such a point that there is no way left for Iran but to counteract,” he said.

“It is necessary that the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, as per the law, prepares a plan for the launch of a nuclear plant for enrichment in grades needed in the country and keeps Majlis posted,” Larijani added.

US lawmakers are targeting the Obama administration’s nuclear agreement with Iran with three bills, envisaging new sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon angered Iran further when he overstepped his mandate in a report this week on the implementation of a Security Council resolution backing Tehran’s nuclear agreement with the P5+1 group of countries.

Larijani said Ban’s report, while being legally non-binding, represented the secretary general’s “free fall.”

“On the one hand, the Secretary General says in his report that Iran’s commitment is encouraging, and on the other, he makes no reference to Iran’s concerns and complaints about the non-implementation of all of the P5+1’s obligations,” Larijani said.

“Had the Secretary General been tasked with producing a report on both side’s fulfillment of their obligations or is he the P5+1’s monitor in this?” he added.

The report sparked criticism not only by Iran but the US and Russia. US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power said Monday that Washington “disagrees strongly with elements of this report, including that its content goes beyond the appropriate scope.”

Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said the report contained factual errors and headings in the report referring to “restrictions” on Iranian ballistic missile activities “simply don’t coincide with the subject of the report.”

“Some of the provisions of the Secretary-General’s report have no relation to his mandate, nor to the terms of reference of (the UN) resolution or the (nuclear deal),” Churkin said.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) envisages Tehran scaling back its nuclear program in return for the lifting of all nuclear-related sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

However, months after the accord went into effect in January, the US and the European Union continue to maintain some sanctions on Iran, scaring off companies from resuming trade with the country.

Larijani said the nuclear deal includes no reference to Iran’s ballistic missiles, adding that it is only the UN’s Resolution 2231 where the subject pops up merely to call on Iran to refrain from developing missiles designed to carry nuclear warheads.

“Has Iran designed any such thing? Why would the UN chief then declare that the spirit of the JCPOA has been violated?” Larijani asked.

UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which was adopted to endorse the JCPOA, puts no limits on Iran’s missile activities and merely “calls upon” Iran to refrain from engaging in developing missiles that are “designed to be capable of” carrying nuclear warheads.

Iran says it is involved in no such missile activity and has no such warheads.

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