By Mahmoud Hakamian
Iran’s nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi said on Tuesday that Iran will continue its activities at the heavy water plant in Arak, transfer 30 tons of “yellowcake” uranium to the conversion facility in Natanz, and even build two additional nuclear power reactors in the Bushehr province, despite still being a party to the 2015 nuclear deal.
During an interview on the Face to Face TV programme, he said that Iran could do this because the deal had many breaches in its technical discussions which Iran was able to exploit. He continued to say that images of the reactor filled with cement, to render it unusable as per the terms of the nuclear deal, had been photo-shopped, and even claimed that Iran was never required to seal up the reactor.
Salehi said: “Iran has lost nothing as a result of signing the agreement and history will prove this. We have preserved our capabilities in the field of enrichment. We are…continuing to manufacture new centrifuges. We are doing everything we need to do.”
Meanwhile, Behrooz Kamalvandi, a representative for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, explained that the Arak facility is being redesigned with financial help from China, a signatory of the nuclear deal and that this would not change even if the nuclear deal fell apart.
Why is Iran regime doing this?
The simple answer is that Iran never really gave up its nuclear programme and always intended to create nuclear weapons, but this has been sped up because of the domestic and international pressure being faced by the Iranian Regime.
Iran’s oil exports have slumped to below one million barrels a day, since the US pulled out of the deal last year, despite the Regime prostrating itself before its international buyers and the Regime is not convinced that Europe will be able or willing to help – the Iranian foreign ministry even walked out of a meeting with EU representatives on January 8 and slammed the door – so the Regime is resorting to threats.
Earlier this month, Salehi said that Iran was capable of increasing its uranium enrichment to 20% within four days, while the Regime also attempted to send satellites into space using technology that could help them launch a nuclear warhead.
It also serves as a sort of defence against those claiming to be in regime Leader Ali Khamenei’s faction who declare that Iran should withdraw from the deal. Essentially, those in Hassan Rouhani’s faction can claim to be getting all of the benefits with none of the restrictions, when they are in essence violating the deal.
This shows that the Iranian regime cannot be trusted to abide by this deal, so the rest of the signatories should follow the US’s lead by withdrawing from the deal and reimposing sanctions against Iran.