News ID: 207910
Published: 1224 GMT January 10, 2018

Takht-Ravanchi: World versus US, a few countries on JCPOA

Takht-Ravanchi: World versus US, a few countries on JCPOA

Senior Iranian nuclear negotiator Majid Takht-Ravanchi on Wednesday said that on the issue of Iran nuclear agreement, “Today, the US and a few countries” are on one side, and the rest of the world is on the other side.

Takht-Ravanchi, who is also the deputy chief of staff of the Iranian president’s office for political affairs, made the comments two days before the US president’s decision on whether to continue to waive the nuclear-related sanctions on Iran or not, IRNA reported.

“What the US will do within the next days is not predictable,” he said; however, he underlined that “we are prepared for the worst situation.”

He said that given the unpredictable character of US President Donald Trump, no one can definitely say whether he would confirm the removal of sanctions or reject it.

Iran has devised political and economic measures since a year ago to deal with a possible US scrapping of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Takht-Ravanchi said, adding that Tehran’s rapid reaction to such a move by the US would surprise Washington.

The US will definitely regret exiting the JCPOA, and will incur far more losses than Iran, the official warned.

Since the historic deal was signed in Vienna in July 2015, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is the official institution to verify Iranian compliance, has repeatedly confirmed Iran’s compliance with its commitments under the JCPOA, but some other parties, especially the US, have failed to live up to their undertakings.

Also on Wednesday, the spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Behrouz Kamalvandi said Iran is capable of multiplying the pace of its nuclear activities – especially uranium enrichment – compared to the time when the international deal on its nuclear program had not yet been concluded, implying that that will happen if the United States violates the deal.

Kamalvandi said that AEOI had reported to the country’s highest authorities about its capacity to increase the pace of nuclear activities to several times the speed at which they were underway prior to the deal.

The nuclear agreement was finalized by Iran and the P5+1 countries – namely the US, Russia, China, France, Britain, and Germany – in July 2015 and took effect in January 2016.

Barring the US, all parties to the deal have been stressing that the accord should stand. Trump, however, sees the deal as a legacy of his predecessor – former president Barack Obama – one that he should undo.

Trump faces a Friday deadline to announce whether he would certify Iranian compliance with the deal under domestic US law. He has once certified that compliance but refused to certify it another time. If he once again refuses to certify on Friday, the US Congress may decide to reimpose a series of sanctions that have been waived under the deal. That would be a major violation of the agreement.

Kamalvandi said if the sanctions waivers are not extended, Iran “will naturally take necessary measures.”

Kamalvandi also referred to a recent telephone conversation between his boss, AEOI Director Ali Akbar Salehi, and the director general of the IAEA, Yukiya Amano, in which Salehi had warned Iran would take unspecified measures on the day after the US potentially violates the deal.

Iran's nuclear chief said Tehran may reconsider its cooperation with the IAEA if the US violates the JCPOA.

Under the nuclear deal, Iran undertook to apply certain limits to its nuclear program in exchange for the termination of all nuclear-related sanctions against Tehran.


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