No Cause for Concern Over Centrifuges

No Cause for Concern Over CentrifugesNo Cause for Concern Over Centrifuges

No centrifuges have been decommissioned at nuclear facilities, the spokesperson for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran said.

Behrouz Kamalvandi made the statement on Tuesday to allay domestic concerns that such an untimely move could pose a threat to national interests.

October 18 marked Adoption Day, when Iran and P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany), which had struck a nuclear deal about three months ago, officially adopted certain measures to comply with it.

Among Iran's commitments is taking two-thirds of its centrifuges offline at Fordo and Natanz nuclear sites as part of restrictions it accepted on its nuclear program under the deal in return for sanctions relief.

Earlier this week, the AEOI head, Ali Akbar Salehi, said in an interview with Japan's Kyodo news agency that Iran has started taking measures to carry out its commitments, including dismantling of centrifuges.

"The measures include decommissioning of uranium enrichment centrifuges," the nuclear chief said.

Salehi's remarks prompted some lawmakers to write to President Hassan Rouhani cautioning that the move could jeopardize national interests, pointing to the directives of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution that Iran's action to comply with agreed measures under the pact must be subject to the conclusion of the UN nuclear agency's consideration of Iran's past nuclear activities.

The International Atomic Energy Agency and Iran signed a roadmap agreement alongside the larger nuclear deal that envisages the closure of the IAEA's inquiry into Tehran's nuclear past by Dec. 15, when the agency is expected to submit to the board of governors a final assessment report on its investigation.

Kamalvandi reassured critics that Iran has not reduced the number of centrifuges, but has begun preparations to minimize the time required to dismantle centrifuges after the IAEA's report.

How soon the other side to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the accord is officially known, will act to remove sanctions depends on the time it takes Iran to complete its measures.

***Reversible Move  

"What we have done is reversible," Kamalvandi was quoted by Fars News Agency as telling reporters.

"So there is no need to worry. We proceed in a way to reserve the option of restoring previous conditions, in case the other side wriggles out of its commitments."

Iran has also committed to reconfiguring the Arak heavy water reactor under a cooperation agreement with China and the US.

"On Arak, an official document has been almost finalized to be signed by Iran and P5+1. All but one country have approved the document. It commits them to cooperation with Iran," he said without identifying the country.

Head of the Foreign Ministry's Office for Implementation of JCPOA Abbas Araqchi said on Tuesday various documents need to be prepared on the Arak facility.

Kamalvandi said a meeting will be held with IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano in Tehran after the agency has presented its assessment report.