Western and European countries should decide on the future of their cooperation with Iran and fulfilling their commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as the Islamic Republic’s next moves and steps are on the way, said an Iranian lawmaker.
The JCPOA was signed between Iran and the P5+1 in July 2015. However, President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the deal in May 2018 and reimposed Washington’s unilateral sanctions on Tehran in two phases.
Speaking to the Iran Daily, Qassem Saedi, a member of the Presiding Board of the Iranian Parliament’s Energy Committee, added generation of nuclear energy is a domestic capability of Iran for which the country needs no foreign tool.
“Sanctions cannot hinder the continuation of our activities in this field.”
He said the US and Western countries became worried when Iran, following an announcement by its state officials, reinstalled its centrifuges and declared that Tehran will gradually withdraw from the JCPOA in case of they fail to cooperate.
Iran has shown its goodwill toward the JCPOA and fulfilled all its commitments under the deal, the lawmaker added, noting that the US and Israel became worried after Iran set the 60-day deadline for other signatories to the agreement to honor their promises.
“Recent signals indicate that Western states are retreating from their former positions and softening their stances toward Iran. Even Trump’s recent remarks reflect this change of stances.”
He noted that Trump’s stance toward Iran is not as tough and aggressive as it was as the measures to be taken by Tehran following the expiry of the deadline will not only take the country’s nuclear activities to their pre-JCPOA level, but will also be a step forward in this regard.
Commenting on the present condition of Iran’s nuclear sites, Saedi said, “The situation is quite normal. Those nuclear centers which were sealed following the implementation of the JCPOA [in January 2016], can become operational in less than 24 hours, as their activities had been suspended through a technical and well-engineered and calculated process. If Iran decides to reactivate any nuclear site it desires, the whole process will take less than three days. They cannot write a prescription for what is related to the domestic capabilities of our country and people.”
The MP added following this first stage, Iran’s next step will be increasing uranium production and enrichment levels.
“This is what they are concerned about and we are capable of doing.”
Shifting to the increasing trend reflected by oil prices in the global market, he said prices act like sea waves that begin to fluctuate even when a light wind blows.
“Oil prices are impacted by any political, security or military tension generated in the international arena and different parts of the world. At present, global oil prices have increased as a result of the tensions arising between Iran and the US and the threats uttered by Trump. No doubt, prices will further soar in the future.”
The Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, as the world’s main economic arteries, have special and highly sensitive positions, he said, warning that any tension in the region can further impact the international oil market.
“If Washington had not imposed sanctions on Iran, the situation would have been far more economical for the US and Europe.”
The impacts created by the changes in the international oil market were even witnessed in the UK as the country faced problems in terms of gasoline supply, he noted.
“These impacts will gradually begin to emerge in the US as well.”
Saedi said they presume that oil sanctions will make the situation difficult for Iran, adding however, they do not know that “we have very diverse and clever alternative scenarios in this regard which cannot be monitored and are not predictable.”
On the expiry of sanctions waivers granted by the US to Iranian crude buyers, he said, following the announcement by Washington that the waivers will not be extended, Pakistan, India and a number of other countries have been negotiating with the US to gain further exemptions from the sanctions.
“If the US keeps insisting that the waivers will not be renewed, they will work out other solutions to continue crude imports from Iran as they highly need our oil for their economic activities.”
He maintained that for some countries US oil sanctions on Iran are tantamount to an economic siege laid on them by Washington.
These states have concluded that the sanctions are working to their detriment and, thus, are studying Iran’s proposed solutions to resolve the problems as soon as possible, Saedi said.