Plans underway if U.S fails to make good on JCPOA: Salehi
TEHRAN – Iran’s nuclear chief said on Monday plans have been made on how to react in the event Washington fails to make good on commitments to an international nuclear deal reached last year.
“We have already made necessary predictions in this regard in a committee meeting presided by Mr. Rouhani,” said Ali Akbar Salehi on the sidelines of a ceremony held to mark the martyrdom anniversary of Majid Shahriyari, a nuclear scientist assassinated in Tehran six years ago.
Salehi was making the comments after the U.S. House of Representatives ratified a bill on November 15, agreeing to a 10-year extension of the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA).
He gave no details on possible retaliatory options Tehran has been considering.
The ISA will expire at the end of 2016, and needs the Senate’s approval for renewal before President Obama signs it into law.
Iran says the sanctions extension push will breach the terms of the nuclear deal Iran and six world powers, including the U.S., finalized in July 2015 after arduous talks that spanned 20 months.
Under the deal, Iran reveled in a sanctions relief in exchange for it rolling back its nuclear program.
The deal went into effect on January 16.
“The bill, if ratified and put into force, will be a violation of BARJAM (JCPOA),” the nuclear chief stressed.
“We hope the other side won’t do that because they will be main loser,” he added.
Earlier Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei had warned of the renewal of the ISA.
“If this extension is enforced and made operational, it would certainly be in breach of the JCPOA and [American officials must] know that the Islamic Republic of Iran will certainly show a reciprocal reaction,” the Leader said.
One possible response is to reverse agree-upon changes made to the Arak nuclear reactor, whose core was removed and filled with cement.
Also, Iran can reactivate its dismantled uranium enrichment facilities.
“In a matter of one year and a half we can reach a sizable uranium enrichment capacity,” Salehi stated.
Concerns over the nuclear deal which the Obama administration has hailed as a legacy foreign policy have increased after Donald Trump became the 45th president of the U.S.
In his campaign speeches, Trump had raised the prospect of pulling the U.S. out of the deal.
Iranian officials have called Trump’s bluff, saying Tehran won’t sit idly in the event Washington fails to honor it.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said Tehran has options if the JCPOA fails.
"Of course Iran's options are not limited but our hope and our desire and our preference is for the full implementation of the nuclear agreement, which is not bilateral for one side to be able to scrap," he highlighted.