60% enrichment carried important political messages, says parliament speaker

April 18, 2021 - 21:25

TEHRAN-- Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, speaker of the Iranian parliament, spoke on Sunday about the 60% uranium enrichment and the sabotage act at Natanz, suggesting that the sabotage must be responded “at the right time”.

Noting that enriching uranium up to 60% purity carried important political messages to the West, Ghalibaf said, "Iran's enemies expected Iran's nuclear activities to be halted or slowed down by terrorist acts, but this enrichment proved to our enemies that Iran's nuclear industry has become indigenous and no one can stop the progress of Islamic Iran.”

Speaking at the parliament, Ghalibaf called enrichment of uranium to 60% “an epoch-making” event in terms of science and technology in addition important political messages.

The April 11 sabotage attack on the Natanz nuclear plant is an instance of war crime in terms of international law and the UN Charter. Calling the sabotage “nuclear terrorism”, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote a letter to the UN secretary general saying that this “war crime” must not go unpunished given its high risk of releasing dangerous materials. “The deliberate targeting of a highly sensitive safeguarded nuclear facility-with the high risk of potential release of radioactive material-constitutes reckless criminal nuclear terrorism. Considering the possible indiscriminate human and environmental consequences of this international crime, those who planned, ordered, participated and carried out this cowardly act committed a grave war crime; one that must not go unpunished. Any power with knowledge of, or acquiescence in, this act must also be held accountable as an accomplice to this war crime,” Zarif told the UN chief Antonio Guterres.

“We achieve whatever we want”

Ghalibaf said the recent nuclear steps proved that Iran can advance its policies. “Today, we will achieve whatever we want with the grace of God Almighty in a short time,” he pointed out.

He explained that enriching uranium to 60% purity is “within the framework of Article 1 of the Strategic Action Law.”

Late last year the Iranian parliament approved a legislation tasking the government to remove bans on nuclear program in retaliation to illegal sanctions. At the time the parliament gave the Western parties some time to lift sanctions otherwise the legislation will go into effect step by step.

The parliament speaker went on to praise the efforts of Iranian scientists as they minimized the gap between decision-making and action in Iran's nuclear industry. “This enrichment and this important achievement proved to our enemies that Iran's nuclear industry has become indigenous and that any ill-considered action and any pressure on the Iranian people's determination for scientific progress is completely ineffective and no one can stop the unstoppable progress of Islamic Iran,” the senior parliamentarian pointed out.

“Decisive response”

He described the 60% enrichment as a “decisive response to the enemy's plan to weaken the country's upper hand in the negotiation process.”

Currently, negotiations are under way in Vienna between Iran and the P4+1 group to possibly revive the 2015 nuclear agreement. The U.S. is also taking part in the negotiations through intermediaries as the Biden administration has expressed willingness to return to the deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Ghalibaf stated that the “locks” on the nuclear industry were broken with the implementation of the law on Strategic Action for Lifting Sanctions and it gave power to the negotiating team to use this capacity to seek the goal of complete lifting of sanctions.

At such a situation “the enemy sabotaged Natanz to weaken Iran's negotiating position to empty the hands of the Iranian people, but the achievement of 60% enrichment showed to the other side that such actions, instead of considering them a threat to Iran's nuclear activities, in practice provide a unique opportunity to take higher steps towards the development of the nuclear industry,” the parliament speaker noted.

Ghalibaf said over the past four decades the enemies have repeatedly experienced the repercussions of their intimidation against the Iranian nation and each time they faced more failure than before, adding the foes have clearly seen that any conspiracy makes the Iranian nation stronger.

The parliament speaker predicted such malign activities against Iran will continue but such acts will make the Iranian nation more determined. “They will continue to carry out such actions, and feel sure that each time the Iranian people will become stronger and prouder.” The senior lawmaker added, “Responding to the terrorist attack on Natanz is a must and will be done at the right time.”

“Enemy intends to prolong nuclear deal talks”

The parliament speaker also said, "Apart from terrorist acts, the enemy has also designed a strategy to prolong the negotiations so that it can completely suspend the entire political and economic structure of the country without any results.” 

“Deception and pressure”

The speaker said by protracting the negotiations they want to impose their demands on Iran with a coordinated mix of “deception and pressure”, and prevent the Iranian people from gaining access to a sanctions-free economy. Iran has been insisting that all sanctions must be lifted in a verifiable manner.

An informed source has told Press TV that only the removal of all sanctions together against Iran will save the Vienna talks. “It is not acceptable to Iran to divide the sanctions into removal, non-removable and negotiable,” the source said on Saturday. “In Tehran, nothing will be accepted but the removal of all sanctions, including those related to the JCPOA, reimposed and relabeled during the Trump era,” the source added.

Ghalibaf also thanked the Iranian scientists who succeeded to enrich uranium to 60 percent in a short period of time, calling them a source of “honor” for the country. “All the devotees of the Islamic Republic of Iran's nuclear industry who created this honor for the country,” he said.

He also expressed hope that Iran’s negotiators can protect the interests of the honorable people of Iran by “maintaining principles and succeed in achieving the goal of complete and tangible lifting of sanctions.” Iran’s negotiating team is led by Abbas Araghchi, the deputy foreign minister for political affairs who helped craft the JCPOA in July 2015.

“Army is devoted to the nation”

Elsewhere in his remarks, the parliament speaker also congratulated the holy month of Ramadan to the Iranian nation, calling this month an opportunity to bring the hearts of the people together.

Ghalibaf, a former police chief, also congratulated Army Day, which fell on Sunday, April 18, to all the “brave men” in the Army. “By devoting itself to the comfort, security and tranquility of the people, the Army has always achieved the slogan of the ‘Army is devoted to the nation’,” the senior MP remarked.

SA/PA

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