Iran unveils dozens of nuclear achievements on Nuclear Day

We fought for this for 43 years

April 11, 2021 - 11:51

TEHRAN – Iran has announced 133 nuclear achievements and a series of nuclear measures in what amounted to a new leap in Iran’s march toward achieving advanced, peaceful nuclear technology.

The announcement was made on Saturday on the occasion of the National Day of Nuclear Technology. At a ceremony held to commemorate this day, President Hassan Rouhani issued a presidential order instructing nuclear authorities to start using the announced achievements. 

“Design, construction and commissioning of the second phase of industrial production units in Arak, design and construction of spin test machine, construction and assembly of the first prototype of the IR9S and IR9-1B centrifuges, and design and construction of 3D laser printing of metals are some of the projects that were inaugurated today,” according to a statement issued by the Iranian presidency.

In addition, the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) began injecting gas into a complete chain of 164 IR6 centrifuge machines, inaugurated a station purifying the Uranium Hexafluoride input in the Natanz enrichment facility, and operated an assembly line manufacturing new machinery at the Ahmadi Roshan nuclear facility, according to the Tasnim news agency.

These nuclear achievements shed more light on the history of Iran’s nuclear program, which began during the Shah regime with tangible support from Western countries. After the victory of the revolution, the nuclear program was put on hold for some time before being resumed by Iranian experts and scientists during the Islamic Republic. Instead of cooperating with Iran, the West started to work against Iran developing peaceful nuclear energy. 

Western countries, led by the U.S. and the so-called E3 – France, Germany and the UK- imposed severe economic sanctions on Iran since the 2000s. Iran moved to assuage the concerns of these countries with new confidence-building measures such as giving more access to international inspectors and accepting more restrictions on its nuclear program.

Since at least 2000, Iran has been in close contact with the Europeans to convince them that it does not pursue a nuclear bomb. In October 2003, Iran reached an understanding with the E3 on its nuclear program. It agreed to give more access to international inspectors. Tehran also agreed to implement the Additional Protocol to the Non-nuclear Proliferation Treaty.

While Iran kept up its end of the bargain, the Europeans went back on their word, prompting Iran to resume its nuclear activities, which led to another pressure campaign by the West that ultimately culminated in the P5+1 nuclear negotiation with Iran. This negotiation culminated in the signing of a nuclear deal in July 2015 called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). But this deal too almost fell apart after the West reneged on its obligations to terminate sanctions on Iran. 

Following then-President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the JCPOA in 2018, the E3 failed to ensure that Iran benefits from the nuclear deal. Despite Western non-compliance with it, Iran unilaterally abided by it and kept calling on the E3 to fulfill their commitments under the deal. 

Iran weathered the storm and even made a stride in expanding its nuclear program. The Saturday announcement was the latest indication in this regard. Iran now has more advanced centrifuges than when it signed the JCPOA. 

President Hassan Rouhani pointed to this fact in the Saturday unveiling ceremony of nuclear achievements.

Referring to the launch of the IR6 centrifuge chain at Saturday’s ceremony, he said, “The production capacity of these centrifuges is 10 times more than IR1 centrifuges and the next generation of centrifuges that are under research and construction have 50 times the production capacity of the country's first centrifuges.”

The president praised the development of technology in the nuclear sector throughout the country and added, “Today, production and progress in the nuclear industry continue together.”

Rouhani pointed out that these activities became fully legal with the JCPOA. 

He noted that with the actions and efforts made by his government since 2015, Iran's nuclear activities became completely legal and the excuse was taken away from the enemies.  “One of the achievements of the JCPOA was that it made Iran's nuclear technology fully legal and reserved the rights of the Iranian nation,” Rouhani said, according to the official website of the Iranian presidency.

He called the concerns about Iran's nuclear activities unreasonable and added, “It was the same unreasonable concern that has been causing trouble for the Iranian nation for 15, 16 years and we are still talking to the world and the Americans to stop their illegal actions and if this misconception had not existed in their minds, we would have not gone through these problems.”

At the same time, Rouhani underlined the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program, saying that concerns expressed by world powers have their roots in these powers’ misuse of nuclear technology.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has never had, and will not have, non-peaceful goals from its nuclear activities,” Rouhani underlined, noting, “Iran's nuclear activities have always been peaceful, but the enemies of this nation had passed several resolutions against these activities in the United Nations Security Council, which this government sent to the dustbin of history forever and legalized Iran's nuclear activities.”

This year, Iran commemorated Nuclear Day amid renewed talks with the West aimed at finding ways to restore balance to the JCPOA. Iran and the remaining parties to the JCPOA have resumed nuclear talks in Vienna. At least two rounds of in-person talks have been held in Vienna over the past two weeks, with all parties expressing cautious optimism toward making progress. Iran and the P4+1 have established expert-level working groups to discuss the measures needed to be done by Iran and the U.S. to restore full implementation of the deal.

Tehran has called on Washington to remove all Trump-era sanctions but the U.S. is yet to agree to lift all these sanctions. This has become a major obstacle to fully revive the JCPOA, with American officials even warning that the talks may be stymied by calls for the total removal of Trump-era sanctions.  

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