Presidential Candidate's Anti-JCPOA Criticism Dismissed

Presidential Candidate's Anti-JCPOA Criticism Dismissed
Presidential Candidate's Anti-JCPOA Criticism Dismissed

Iran's atomic organization dismissed a presidential candidate's criticism of the nuclear pact that the government of incumbent President Hassan Rouhani negotiated with major powers in 2015.

During the second live televised presidential debate on Thursday, conservative hopeful Mostafa Mirsalim repeated his camp's allegations that the deal, which Rouhani champions as his signature achievement, has conceded too much to the western side by downsizing Iran's nuclear program and, contrary to Rouhani's claim, has not benefitted the national economy. Iran came out of a decade of sanctions under the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, in return for scaling back its nuclear activities.

Under the restrictions, Iran reduced the number of centrifuges installed at Fordo and Natanz enrichment sites and agreed to cap the enriched uranium stocks below 300 kg and the fissile purity of 3.67%, and redesign the Arak heavy water reactor.

"Thousands of centrifuges are still conducting enrichment, something that the US ruling system, particularly [former president Barack] Obama did not expect," the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran said in a statement, carried by IRNA on Saturday.

The statement also highlighted the recent injection of uranium gas into IR-8, Iran's latest generation of centrifuge machines that it said "the US was keen to see destroyed."

Mirsalim also claimed that the organization has laid off thousands of nuclear scientists following the nuclear deal.

"No scientist or other staff in employment has been axed by the [Rouhani] administration," the AEOI responded. Ebrahim Raeisi, the custodian of the holy shrine of Imam Reza [PBUH] and former prosecutor general, and Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf are other representatives of the conservative camp in the May 19 vote.

The other two candidates are Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri and former reformist-minded industries minister, Mostafa Hashemitaba.


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