TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Senior Iranian official Ali Akbar Velayati put forward a series of nuclear and political plans that Tehran could carry out without breaching Iran's commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and in response to US hostile policies against the Islamic Republic.
Velayati, a senior adviser to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, delivered a speech to the “Lasting Experience” conference, held in Tehran on Wednesday to study the Leader’s stances on the JCPOA, the international agreement on Iran’s nuclear program from which the US withdrew earlier this month.
In his comments, Velayati, also member of a high-ranking Iranian team monitoring the JCPOA implementation, listed a series of measures that Tehran should take to strengthen or revive its nuclear capabilities and maintain its defense power in the face of the US hostile policies and lack of commitment to the nuclear accord.
Pointing to the dark record of the US government in reneging on the agreements in the past, Velayati said the first step Iran can take at the moment is to focus on facilities that use Uranium hexafluoride (UF6), which he said could spin the centrifuge machines that enrich uranium.
He further called for programs to develop powerful nuclear propulsion systems that are used in ships and submarines, saying the work on those systems, already ordered by President Hassan Rouhani, should be accelerated.
As regards the other measures Iran can take without being blamed for a possible violation of the JCPOA, Velayati said Tehran should work on stable isotopes, which would prove Tehran’s nuclear capabilities without being used for military purposes.
He further proposed the idea of developing carbon fibers that are used for manufacturing the new generation of centrifuge machines, which cannot be made with ordinary metal substances.
Carbon fiber composites are also broadly used in the other industries, he noted, adding that such research is not banned under the JCPOA.
Serious research and development of the IR-6 and IR-8 centrifuges was another plan proposed by Velayati. He underlined that Iran’s uranium enrichment capacity should reach 190,000 Separative Work Units (SWUs), as emphasized by Ayatollah Khamenei.
Velayati then dismissed the notion that Tehran should avoid asking Europe for a UN Security Council resolution against the US, saying Iran can mobilize efforts and get the support of the European UNSC members, Russia, China and a number of other countries.
“Even if the US vetoes such a resolution, it will still serve Iran’s interests,” the former foreign minister added, explaining that such a veto would demonstrate that the majority of the international community are against the US.
Orientation towards East in order to counter the Western obstructive policies was another option that Velayati proposed in his speech, saying it does not mean reliance on Russia at all.
“Every country goes ahead according to its national interests, however, we (Iran), Russia, and China have overlap of national interests in many cases, and can work together,” Velayati added.
Hailing Russia’s outspoken rejection of “Britain’s sly” proposal against Iran at the UN, Velayati pointed to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s opposition to the president of France, who had called for inclusion of Iran’s missile program and regional policies in the JCPOA talks.
“Which of the Westerners would ever do that like Putin did?” he asked.
Russia is neither able nor willing to force Iran to do anything, Velayati added, saying Tehran and Moscow are working together in defense industry.
Russians also helped Iran manufacture the Bushehr nuclear power plant, while Europeans did not provide Iran with a tiny part of the facility.
The senior official further praised China for cooperating with Iran at the time of sanctions and maintaining trade ties with Tehran.
Velayati also underlined that Iran must maintain its missile power and regional influence, stressing that negotiations on saving the JCPOA should comply with the conditions set by the Leader.
Europeans must guarantee to buy Iran’s oil and remove the banking obstacles, he added, deploring Europe’s breach of their promises in the course of nuclear negotiations some 15 years ago.
Elsewhere in his comments, Velayati denounced the Iranian lawmakers’ insufficient attention in endorsing the JCPOA, saying such a major deal should have not been passed during only 20 minutes and without utmost care.
A big flaw in the JCPOA was that the deal was not released with a Persian language version, he added, saying even the disastrous treaties during the Qajar dynasty that resulted in loss of Iranian territories had a Persian version.
Ayatollah Khamenei had insisted that the US officials should give guarantees before hammering out the JCPOA, but Washington pressed ahead with many of its plans via a psychological war, while the Iranian team of negotiators did not include any psychological warfare expert, he added.
The JCPOA was indeed an excuse for pushing Iran out of the region, Velayati noted, adding that Iran, on the contrary, continues to gain victories in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Yemen.
“The enemies of Iran in the region will be given a response with the strategic concept of ‘resistance’ which is now spreading from Tehran to Palestine, Sana’a and Beirut,” he added, saying the resistance has put heavy pressure on the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia.
On May 8, the US president pulled his country out of the JCPOA, which was achieved in Vienna in 2015 after years of negotiations between Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany).
Following the US exit, Iran and the remaining parties launched talks to save the accord.
Meanwhile, Ayatollah Khamenei has underlined that any decision to keep the JCPOA running without the US should be conditional on “practical guarantees” from the three European parties to the deal.
In comments on May 23, Ayatollah Khamenei stressed that Europeans must protect Iranian oil sales from the US pressure and continue buying Iranian crude, and must promise they would not seek new negotiations on Iran's missile program and regional activities.
“European banks should safeguard trade with the Islamic Republic. We do not want to start a fight with these three countries (France, Germany and Britain), but based on their past records, we don't trust them either,” the Leader said.