Contingency Plans Ready to Counter Anti-Iran US Move

Iran has prepared a range of contingency plans to revive its pre-nuclear deal activities in response to any future hostile move by the US to undermine the nuclear accord
Ali Akbar SalehiAli Akbar Salehi

Iran has prepared a range of contingency plans to revive its pre-nuclear deal activities in response to any future hostile move by the US to undermine the agreement, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran said.

Speaking in an interview with Iran's state TV, Ali Akbar Salehi added, "We have envisaged various scenarios for reverting. These scenarios vary greatly because we should first see what step is taken by the other side and then we will act accordingly."

Elaborating on those preparations, the AEOI head said Iran could restore the 20% uranium enrichment capacity at the Fordo facility within days.

"We can assure that this preparedness exists in various aspects. For instance, as I have already mentioned … we can reach the capacity to produce the 20% uranium within four days," he said.

Iran agreed under JCPOA, the formal title of the accord, namely the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, to cap its enriched uranium stockpile below 300 kg and to the fissile purity of 3.67%.

The number of centrifuges installed at Fordo and Natanz enrichment sites were also reduced by two-thirds, as part of the constraints placed on Tehran's nuclear program.

Commenting on the Arak Modernization Project, undertaken to comply with another requirement under the deal to redesign and rebuild the Arak heavy water reactor, Salehi said the work is "proceeding smoothly" and "on schedule".

"Once completed, the new Arak reactor would be much more advanced than its previous version," he said.

  US Wants to Scupper JCPOA at Iran's Expense

Salehi said Iran is aware of the US policy to eventually derail the 2015 nuclear deal at the Islamic Republic's expense. "The current US administration has said that it considers JCPOA unenforceable … It is looking for a way to make the action plan ineffective and pin the blame on Iran," he added.

Salehi reiterated Iran's warning that it is geared up to counter the US plot.

"The Islamic Republic will show an appropriate response in a wise manner," he said.

JCPOA was negotiated between Iran and the previous US administration and four other permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany to swap sanctions relief for temporary curbs on Tehran's nuclear program.

The high-profile agreement, however, has come under the typically overblown attacks of US President Donald Trump as "the worst deal ever" and "an embarrassment".

He has reprimanded his predecessor, Barack Obama, for being too lenient on Iran during the nuclear negotiations and not pushing hard enough to compel it to accept restrictions beyond the nuclear issue.

In a controversial announcement last month that drew the sharp objection of the other signatories, the hawkish Republican said he would no longer certify Iran's compliance with the pact and demanded the deal's "flaws" be fixed if the US is to stay in the pact.  

Trump's decertification announcement came despite the UN nuclear agency's reports verifying Iran's full commitment.

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