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Nuclear chief says Iran will 'not tolerate any deviation' from possible deal

BBC International Reports (Middle East)  


    By BBC Monitoring

    Amid ongoing indirect talks between Tehran and Washington on reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA), Iran's nuclear chief Mohammad Eslami has warned the West that his country will not tolerate the "slightest deviation" from any possible agreement.

    In an interview with Iran's Arabic-language Al-Alam TV published on 5 August, Eslami called on Western powers to show "good faith" and return to compliance with the JCPOA to end the impasse in the talks.

    In comments carried by the Persian website of Al-Alam, he warned Western powers that "unlike the past" Iran would not tolerate the "slightest deviation" from the renewed deal and would respond to it with "reciprocal action". Recent deployment of more centrifuges

    Eslami repeated his earlier announcement that Tehran has started injecting uranium hexafluoride (UF6) gas into "500 centrifuges" in line with policies introduced by Iranian lawmakers and in response to United States' continued violation of the JCPOA.

    He argued: "They [the US] are addicted to imposing sanctions while our actions are aimed at removing sanctions."

    According to Eslami, Iran's nuclear activities and policies are aimed at proving to the West that they cannot achieve anything using "tattered allegations and alleged documents and [claims about undeclared nuclear] sites".

    He said that the JCPOA was forged to address the exact same allegations and added that the 2015 nuclear deal had cleared Iran of the so-called PMD (possible military dimensions) allegations.

    "If have the will to return to the JCPOA, they have no justification for imposing additional sanctions," he added.

    He reiterated Iran's longstanding policy of increasing its enrichment capacity to a minimum enrichment level of 190,000 separative work units (SWU) to meet the "needs of the country" in the fields of medicine and electricity generation. He added that Tehran hopes to reach the goal using advanced IR-6 centrifuges.

    Eslami concluded that Iran will continue to expand its nuclear activities until the US re-joins the JCPOA, lifts sanctions against Tehran, and ditches all allegations against the Islamic Republic. Tehran 'not seeking' nuclear weapons

    Eslami said that over the past 20 years, Western powers and their allies have consistently alleged that Tehran is trying to make a bomb in one place or another.

    "All these things are made up by them, and by our enemies and counter-revolutionaries, who act as mercenaries [for Western powers] against the interests of the country. All the alleged places have been inspected and visited multiple times and the [International Atomic Energy] Agency [IAEA] has repeatedly stated that there are no deviations in Iran's nuclear programme. We are committed to the NPT and nuclear non-proliferation."

    According to him, nuclear weapons "have no place in the defence and security doctrine of the Islamic Republic".

    He noted that a fatwa (religious edict) by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei also bars Iran from seeking nuclear weapons.

    This is while he had earlier warned that Tehran has the technical capability to build a nuclear bomb while reiterating that it has no intention to do so. Secret nuclear facilities

    During the interview, he pointed to the issue of Iran's alleged secret nuclear facilities that have been a sticking point in relations between Tehran and the IAEA and also in the JCPOA negotiations.

    According to him, the ongoing talks in Vienna include discussions about "sanctions and technical" issues related to allegedly undeclared nuclear facilities in Iran.

    He said that the talks can reach a conclusion if the Western parties "abandon their false excuses" and close the case about the undisclosed sites. "They know that there are no undeclared nuclear facilities," he declared.

    Eslami said: "Israel has provided them with these alleged documents. Speaking in Israeli's tone is not befitting of an organisation affiliated with the United Nations."

    He added that Iran was supposed to answer IAEA questions about the alleged undeclared sites; however, "before receiving the answers, they announced that it was not convincing! This shows that their will is not to be satisfied, in this case they will never be satisfied".

    He accused Israel of "staging scenes" and "deceiving" the IAEA, and called on the agency to stay clear of Israel's influence.

    In another part of his comments, he discussed recent apparent sabotage attacks on Iranian nuclear facilities: "The security measures adopted have been positive. Furthermore, the security vigilance has led to sabotage operations and destructive-terrorist actions carried out by the Zionists to be nipped in the bud and their forces being identified by the security forces."

    Source: Al-Alam TV, Tehran, in Persian 1830 gmt 4 Aug 22


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