By Pejman Amiri– 30th May 2021
On Monday, May 24, the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) head Ali Akbar Salehi acknowledged Tehran still breaches the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). “The accumulation of our uranium reserves with 20-percent fossil purity is more than 90kg,” he said.
Three months ago, Tehran signed an accord with UN nuclear watchdog chief Rafael Grossi allowing inspectors of the International Atomic EnergyAgency (IAEA) to continue their activities. According to the accord, Iranian officials were supposed to prevent IAEA from further inspections and collect and wipe all cameras.
In recent weeks, Iran’s pressure campaign had compelled U.S. and European negotiators to attempt to revive the JCPOA before May 21—the accord’s deadline. However, Tehran was eventually forced to extend the accord’s period to another month contrary to claims and threats that had previously raised by the ayatollahs and their lobbies in the U.S. and Europe.
To downplay this withdrawal, Salehi bragged about the continuation of uranium enrichment up to 60-percent purity. According to the JCPOA, Tehran was permitted to enrich uranium up to 3.67 percent and accumulate 202kg alone, which is used for scientific research. However, 60-percent uranium enrichment is unlikely to be used for scientific purposes, and it is considered a critical step toward weaponizing the projects.
“The 60-percent, 20-percent, and five-percent enrichment still continue, and the accumulation of our 20-percent enriched uranium has surpassed 90kg. According to the Majlis [Parliament] law, it should have reached 120kg in a year. Currently and after around four months, it has reached 90kg,” Salehi added.
Moreover, Fars news agency, affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), reported Tehran has stockpiled tons of five-percent enriched uranium and kilos of 60-percent enriched uranium. “The accumulation of our 60-percent and five-percent uranium is over 2.5kg and five tons, respectively. Our nuclear activities still continue,” Fars quoted Salehi as saying on the same day.
Also, during the inauguration ceremony of four petrochemical plans on April 15, President Hassan Rouhani threatened the West with enriching uranium up to weapons-grade levels of 90 percent purity. “Today, we can easily achieve 90-percent enriched uranium if we decided,” he said.
Earlier, on January 7, AEOI spokesperson Behrouz Kamalvandi said, “Our progress is so great that we can easily enrich uranium in various percentages up to 90 percent.”
U.S. and European negotiators intentionally neglect Tehran’s potential for weaponizing its nuclear programs. However, they cannot bury their head in sand, analysts said.
The Iranian opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) provided a roundup over military aspects of the government’s nuclear programs. The NCRI explained how the ayatollahs did their best to acquire five nuclear warheads, which failed thanks to the opposition’s revelation campaign began back in 2002.
Since then, Tehran never put aside its targets, according to dissidents. “When our team was in the midst of the JCPOA negotiations… Not only did we avoid destroying the bridges that we had built, but we also built new bridges that would enable us to go back faster if needed,” Salehi said in an interview with the state-run Channel Four TV on January 22, 2019.
“They would have told us to pour cement into those tubes as well. Now we have the same tubes,” the AEOI head explained how his government circumvented the verification process and breached the JCPOA.