TEHRAN – Mahmoud Alavi, the intelligence minister, said on Monday that Iran has told the Europeans that the 2015 nuclear deal agreement is “hanging by a thread” now that the U.S. has withdrawn from the pact.
The intelligence chief said now if the other signatories to the agreement – the European Union especially the EU trio, China and Russia – back away from their commitments under the agreement Iran will resume nuclear activities with a greater speed.
Under the agreement, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and went into force in January 2016, Iran was tasked to put limits on its nuclear activities in exchange for termination of economic and financial sanctions.
“If the other sides decide to accompany the U.S. and leave the JCPOA, the Islamic Republic of Iran can return to the pre-JCPOA situation and even bring the nuclear industry to more sensitive and advanced points in a short period of time based on the Iranian scientists’ valuable achievements,” he told reporters after visiting the Fordow nuclear plant.
On June 4, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordered the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) to get preparatory steps to increase uranium enrichment capacity up to a level of 190,000 SWUs (separative work units) if the remaining sides fail to honor their obligations.
“The Atomic Energy Organization is required to swiftly make due preparations for 190,000 SWUs, for the time being, within the JCPOA framework,” the Leader said.
Ayatollah Khamenei also said, “Statements made by some European states indicate that they expect the Iranian nation to both endure sanctions and to abandon their nuclear activities, which is the undoubtable future need of the country, and to live on with the restrictions already imposed. Let me tell these states that such disturbed dreams will not come true.”
In an open reference to the Trump administration, Intelligence Minister Alavi said, “Those who reneged on their promises will see that what they have done will be more harmful to themselves rather than Iran. Iran should move based on its determination because the foreigners do not take a step which is beneficial to Iran.”
On May 8, President Donald Trump officially withdrew the U.S. from the UN-endorsed nuclear agreement and threatened Iran with worst sanctions.