Karaj facility doesn’t fall within nuclear safeguards, Eslami says

It’s ‘open lie’ that Iran enriching uranium to 90%: nuclear chief

December 14, 2021 - 16:59

TEHRAN – Mohammad Eslami, chief of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), on Tuesday dismissed rumors that Iran is enriching uranium to 90 percent purity, calling it an “open lie”.

“This is an open lie… that are attributed to our country especially by the enemies and the Zionist current,” Eslami told the IRIB news agency.

He added Iran’s nuclear program are in accordance to the rules and regulations of the Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The IAEA is supervising all Iran’s activities and “we have never done and will never do anything outside that framework”, the nuclear chief asserted.

Eslami also said the centrifuge manufacturing facility near Karaj and all other issues related to the 2015 nuclear deal – JCPOA – fall outside the IAEA Safeguard Agreement.

He added, “If the JCPOA is a treaty and the parties have undertaken obligations… then all (sides) must abide by their obligations.”

Under the JCPOA signed in July 2015 and went into effect in January 2016, Iran was tasked to put limits on its nuclear activities in exchange for termination of economic and financial sanctions.

However, in May 2018 the United States unilaterally quit the JCPOA and returned sanctions and imposed new ones. Iran remained fully loyal to the JCPOA for a complete year after the U.S. withdrawal. However, seeing no action on the part of the European sides to compensate Iran for the sanctions, Iran started to gradually remove bans on its nuclear program in accordance to the paragraph 36 of the JCPOA.

(Paragraph 36 provided a mechanism to resolve disputes and allows one side, under certain circumstances, to stop complying with the deal if the other side is out of compliance.)

The new nuclear chief said, “So long as they don’t honor their commitments and slap ‘oppressive and illegal’ sanctions against Iran and increase them on a daily basis, there is no reason to put pressure on us for JCPOA commitments.”

He added, “We act based on the safeguards and the NPT and don’t accept anything beyond that.”

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