An Iranian nuclear official says the country has numerous options available outside the nuclear deal, but, for now, keeps moving ahead within the framework of the JCPOA as instructed by the Leader.
Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), stressed on Tuesday that Iran acts in accordance with the JCPOA for the time being, which means it is ready to act outside the agreement if need arises.
However, he said, the measures which could be adopted by Iran in the coming years might come sooner.
He made the comments at a press conference in Tehran, reports Fars News Agency.
“The measures being adopted at the moment are in keeping with the JCPOA, and we announced in the two letters we sent to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that the capacities we are using for production are in line with Codes 1 and 3, and are not against the JCPOA and our commitments under the IAEA’s Safeguards Agreement,” he said.
Iran to Produce Necessary New Centrifuges for Research
He further underlined a facility which is to be built for centrifuges is and will be in compliance with the JCPOA.
“As long as we have remained in the JCPOA, we produce new centrifuges only if they are needed for research; otherwise, mass production [of centrifuges] is not on the agenda,” Kamalvandi noted.
“Mr Salehi (the AEOI chief) also said that the facility has a high production capacity, and we can quickly produce more centrifuges, which not only means our production capacity has increased, but also suggests we can provide the necessary requirements quickly and in a short period of time to ramp up our uranium enrichment capacity to 190,000 separative work units (SWUs), which is not in violation of the JCPOA,” he said.
“If they had lived up to their commitments, we wouldn’t need to be seeking the capacity for mass production as of now, and we would be able to take our time while doing this; however, we maintained our preparedness for every scenario and conditions fearing that the other side would keep breaching its obligations,” he said.
The AEOI spokesman was asked about whether or not the US has prompted the recent moves.
“What we are doing is not a matter of ‘who’s at fault,’ but is something which is being done at a faster pace based on requirements and needs,” he said.
“If they had made good on their obligations, we would have taken our time doing this, and we would start increasing the number of centrifuges right before the eight-and-a-half-year period of time designated for this, and would start right then, not today,” he noted.
The spokesman said that if Iran has begun increasing its uranium enrichment capacity today so quickly is because Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei instructed authorities to do so and to be prepared.
“As Mr Salehi said, the scientific army of the AEOI is ready to obey the [Leader’s] orders,” the spokesman noted.
He then touched upon the volume of Iran’s uranium reserves.
The spokesman said the country’s UFC6 deposits stand at 300 kg, and its U reserves amount to 200 kg.
“But we have exceptions, too. That means if the fuel we produce is of the radiation type, the amount will be different,” he said.
Elsewhere in his remarks, he said the letters Iran has sent to the IAEA show the country is poised for action if the other side breaches its commitments.
“If they do not deliver on their obligations, we can quickly make up for the restrictions that we accepted voluntarily,” he underlined.
Iran’s Hands Won’t Be Tied, Whatsoever
On Iran’s possible moves if it withdraws from the JCPOA, he said, “We will cross the bridge when we come to it.”
“If we decide to leave the JCPOA, we’d better talk about it. But we have said it, time and again, that we have established the required capacity.
However, we will not use the capacity as long as the JCPOA is in place,” the spokesman said.
“An example of these capacities is the production of new machines. We have done a lot of research on it for years … as long as we remain in the JCPOA, we use a small part of its potential, and we will only use it for research and development, and not mass production,” he said.
“And the cases that we said would bewilder the other side if it pulls out of the JCPOA show we have not sat idly by over the past years and have done a lot of work, and when the circumstances change, Iran’s hands will not be tied, and the situation will unfold in such a way that the other side will be astonished,” he said.
“One example of such measures is the high rate of production of machines, especially new ones, and when these are installed, our production capacity which stands at 7,000 SWUs at the moment could be multiplied,” he said.
Kamalvandi’s comments come as AEOI chief Ali-Akbar Salehi said earlier that Iran has already prepared infrastructure required to immediately resume its nuclear activities if the nuclear agreement it signed with six world powers collapses.
Salehi said Iran has been ready for all scenarios regarding the JCPOA, including the other signatories’ failure to meet their commitments under the deal. To that end, he said, Iran has prepared vast infrastructure that would enable the country to achieve a nuclear capability higher than what it was before the nuclear deal was signed.
Salehi further said the infrastructure has been prepared to ramp up the uranium enrichment capacity at Fordow nuclear facility to 190,000 SWUs as instructed by Ayatollah Khamenei.