PHOTO: Supreme Leader “If opposite party violates nuclear agreement, we will burn it”
Iranian officials, including the Supreme Leader, are threatening a return to an unrestricted nuclear program if they believe the US has broken a July 2015 agreement.
Less than a year after the landmark nuclear deal with the 5+1 Powers and five months after implementation, Tehran says that it will renew and expand its production of 20% enriched uranium.
The spokesman of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Behrouz Kamalvandi, declared on Thursday:
Since the beginning, we have foreseen measures for return scenarios and if needed, we are ready to create conditions rapidly that will certainly surprise the other side.
If we decide to return to the past conditions for the other side’s non-compliance to the nuclear deal, naturally, we can have highly good conditions rapidly using advanced centrifuges.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Leader issued his own warning, apparently prompted by the promise of US Republican President candidate Donald Trump to revoke the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action:
We do not violate the JCPOA, but if the opposite party violates it and tears it apart — as the US Presidential candidates state and threaten at present — then we will burn it.
Ayatollah Khamenei’s website then featured his promise that Iran can expand its nuclear program quickly. The Supreme Leader said that the Islamic Republic can produce 100,000 Separative Working Units — about 10 times the pre-JCPOA output of enriched uranium — within 18 months.
Under the nuclear deal, Iran gave up its production of 20% enriched uranium and relinquished all stocks, while retaining only a small amount of 3.5% uranium. It suspended plans for development of new generations of centrifuges which can produce far more uranium at a much faster pace.
Tehran also accepted a stricter program of supervision and inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency, and it pledged to pursue adherence to the Additional Protocol of the Nuclear Non-Profileration Treaty.