Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the Islamic Republic will increase the level of its uranium enrichment as part of the second phase of reducing its nuclear deal commitments on July 7, when the 60-day deadline it had given the Europeans will end.
Addressing a cabinet session on Tuesday, Rouhani said as of Sunday, Iran will no longer remain committed to the 3.67% uranium enrichment level set by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“On July 7, our enrichment level will no longer be 3.67 percent. We will put aside this commitment. We will increase (the enrichment level) beyond 3.67 percent to as much as we want, as much as is necessary, as much as we need,” he noted.
“We will adopt our next measures as of July 7. If you want to express regret, please express it right now. If you are going to issue a statement, issue it today,” the Iranian president added.
Rouhani also warned that “after July 7, if you don’t live up to the commitments you have made within an agreed timetable, we will restore Arak reactor to its earlier status, the very status which you once referred to as dangerous and capable of producing Plutonium.”
“We recommend the Europeans and the US get back to logic, to sit behind the negotiating table, return to understanding and rule of law and respect the United Nations Security Council’s approvals and let’s live up to our commitments under the JCPOA,” he noted.
Rouhani said Iran “will remain committed to the nuclear deal as long as the other sides remain committed.”
“We observe JCPOA’s commitments one hundred percent but only if the other sides respect it one hundred percent,” he said.
Iran Not after Killing JCPOA
Rouhani further noted that if Iran wants to get back to its previous status, it can do it immediately.
“We can do this simply through selling the [surplus] heavy water to another country and get back to lower percentage of enrichment. All the move we have made so far can get back to their previous status just within one hour. Why are you concerned? We had told you that we will get back to the square one but only if you remain committed to your pledges. We don’t want to make a tit-for-tat. We are not after destroying the deal.”
Rouhani said the Europeans failed to do their commitments even though they had a lot of time.
After two and half months, “they called me again and begged to give them another one month. What happened after the one month? You didn’t even remain committed to what you yourselves had advised us to do and the very commitments you had vowed to make and even the commitments you had explicitly told me on the phone to do.”
He also lashed out at the Europeans for their silence towards the US’ brutal sanctions, which have hit ordinary people in Iran, blocking their access to basic humanitarian goods.
“The Europeans remained silent amid the suffering of the 82-mn-population nation of Iran who are struggling to have access to basic goods. These countries are self-proclaimed defenders of human rights.”
“Why do such countries which proclaim themselves supporter of innocent people including men and women, the elderly and the youths, teenagers and children, have remained silent for one year? Why don’t they openly condemn the US and why don’t they make up for the losses that the US has inflicted on Iran. We decided to do something against their silence,” he said.