The White House said the Iranian president’s ordering of its scientists to develop systems for nuclear powered marine vessels is not in breach of last year’s nuclear agreement between Tehran and world powers.
“Such an announcement does not run counter to the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action),” a senior Obama administration official said on condition of anonymity, in reference to the nuclear deal, Reuters reported.
In separate directives issued to the Foreign Ministry and the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) on Tuesday, President Rouhani demanded that they draw appropriate plans to design and manufacture nuclear propulsion devices as well as the fuel required for them.
He instructed Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the AEOI, to report back to him on the issue within a maximum period of three months.
The president said the measures were warranted in light of the United States’ foot-dragging in fulfilling its commitments under the multilateral nuclear deal and the recent ratification of an anti-Iran legislation in the US Congress known as the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA).
Earlier this month, the US Senate voted 99-0 to extend the ISA for another decade.
The bill was passed by the House of Representatives nearly unanimously in November, and congressional aides said they expected Obama would sign it.
President Hassan Rouhani has warned that implementation of ISA will constitute a “clear and flagrant violation of the JCPOA” and draw a “very harsh reaction” from Tehran.