Iran nuclear chief said that the US “has developed all categories of weapons of mass destruction” while accusing Iran of pursuing nuclear weapons.
Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi made the remarks in an address to the 63rd Annual Regular Session of General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna on Monday.
Salehi said that Iran has always made it clear that acquiring, producing, stockpiling, and eventually the use of weapons of mass destruction is neither legitimate under religious principles nor envisaged in Iran’s defense doctrine.
This is while, the US has developed all categories of weapons of mass destruction including nuclear weapons, and even used it against other countries. Washington is also threatening some other countries with use of nukes, he added.
The US officials have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing nuclear weapons, claims that Tehran has frequently rejected.
The Iranian official also called on the international community to condemn the US unilateral measures as they are threatening international peace and security.
“The act of US violation of UN Security Council resolution and the imposition of unilateral and unlawful sanctions as well as the application of extraterritorial national laws to other countries certainly endangers the international peace and security,” he said.
In 2018, the US reimposed sanctions on Iran after unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear agreement signed between Iran and P5+1 group of countries – Russia, China, Britain, the US, France and Germany in 2015, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“There is a broad agreement among the international community that the JCPOA is a real turning point in the history of multilateralism as an important international achievement,” Salehi said.
“Although the deal has been praised as an outstanding achievement of years of diplomatic efforts, [but] respective states have failed to go beyond expressing regret for the violation of the UN Security Council resolution 2231 by the US administration,” Iran nuclear chief said.
“The outcome of the deal for us has turned into inhumane and illegal sanctions against our trade, economy and foreigners’ investments in clear contradiction with the provisions of the JCPOA and the UN Security Council resolution. Unfortunately such sanctions have also affected areas such as food, medicine, radiopharmaceutical products and even Iran’s nuclear regulatory authority.”
According to Iranian official, following the US withdrawal from the JCPOA, Iran has shown "strategic patience for more than a year," but ultimately had to stop implementing some of its commitments to "provide a new window for diplomacy" to save the nuclear deal.
Since May, Iran has rowed back on its nuclear commitments three times in compliance with articles 26 and 36 of the JCPOA.
Iran says its reciprocal measures will be reversible as soon as Europe finds practical ways to shield the Iranian economy from unilateral US sanctions.
The European signatories to the JCPOA have so far failed to uphold their commitments. They have expressed vocal support for the deal, but failed to provide meaningful economic incentives as required under the nuclear agreement.