Iran’s nuclear program has only slowed – not stopped – since the signing of the nuclear accord, and in some aspects has even grown, an Iranian official said.
The head of Iran’s nuclear agency stated that the volume of nuclear material in Iran possession has increased significantly since the implementation of the nuclear deal the Islamic Republic signed with world powers in July, while the program’s development has merely slowed down, and not stopped completely.
Commenting during a meeting of Iran’s Strategic Council on Foreign Relations on Wednesday, Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the Atomic Energy Agency of Iran (AEOI), said the nuclear negotiations had been led in a path so as to leave the major components of Iran’s nuclear program intact.
“Exploration, extraction, enrichment, research reactors, and research and development are the major components of the nuclear program; the nuclear accords did not completely stymie the program, and we have only slowed down in terms of progress,” Salehi told the meeting of experts, Iran’s Mehr News Agency reported.
“In other activities, we have even accelerated the pace, including in the volume of nuclear material which was 550 tons before, and now we have 770 tons of nuclear material; this is a fact known to the IAEA [the UN Atomic energy agency]. With heavy water, we secured the project along with R&D, extraction and exploration. These provide testimony to the fact that allegations of complete suspension of nuclear activities are baseless,” he added.
He emphasized that through the process of the nuclear deal Iran has “also secured the UN Security Council’s acknowledgement and recognition of Iran’s nuclear program.”
“We believe that Iran is fully entitled to enrichment rights according to articles of the IAEA and NPT [Non-Proliferation Treaty]; a major drive behind pressures on Iran was to prevent enrichment and heavy water production; they believed Iran should not have been active in these areas; however, we were active in both paths, since we were not sure that which one would lead us to nuclear fuel sooner,” Salehi concluded his speech.
The top Iranian official made his statements only days after world powers lifted sanctions on Iran, a major stage in the full implementation of the nuclear deal.
Israel fears that Iran’s nuclear development has not been stopped by the accord, and that it has, at the most, only been slowed down, as Salehi has confirmed.