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The president of Iran, Hasan Rohani, assured on Tuesday that his country will continue to be “committed” to the multinational nuclear agreement if the cooperation agreements with the other members of the treaty are maintained after leaving the United States.
“If we achieve the objectives of the agreement in cooperation with the other members, the treaty will remain in force,” Rohani said minutes after President Donald Trump announced that the United States is abandoning the nuclear agreement with Iran.
“The United States does not comply with its commitments to an international treaty,” complained the Iranian president.
The president also announced that he ordered the atomic authorities of his country to prepare to start enriching uranium at industrial levels , which could be done if negotiations with the other members fail (Russia, China, United Kingdom, France and Germany) to maintain the treaty.
“We will wait a few weeks before taking this measure and we will negotiate with our friends and allies and with the parties that signed the agreement, everything will depend on our national interests,” he said in a televised conference.
“If our interests are guaranteed by the treaty, we will continue the process and if the agreement is only a document, then our next path will be clear,” he warned.
Uranium enrichment is one of the key processes for manufacturing both nuclear energy and atomic weapons and the limitation of this process by Iran was one of the bases of the nuclear agreement.
The televised conference of Rohani took place shortly after the announcement of Trump, which was questioned by the presidents of France, the United Kingdom and Germany.
Trump also announced that the sanctions that prevailed before the nuclear agreement was signed are back in force and he warned that “any country that helps Iran could also be sanctioned.”
The US president justified his decision saying that “the agreement was so badly negotiated that even if Iran complies with everything, the regime would be on the verge of getting nuclear weapons in a short period of time.”
“We can not avoid an Iranian nuclear bomb under this decaying and deteriorating agreement,” said Trump, who began his speech by accusing Iran of being a “sponsor of terrorism.”
The agreement signed by Tehran with the group formed by Germany, China, the United States, France, the United Kingdom and Russia establishes limits and controls on the Iranian nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions.
Known as the Joint and Complete Action Plan (JCPOA), the pact began to be applied in January 2016.
There are two uranium enrichment facilities in Iran – Natanz and Fordo – where uranium hexafluoride gas is introduced into centrifuges to separate U-235, the fissile isotope of natural origin from uranium.
Low-grade uranium, which has a 3-4% concentration of U-235, can be used to produce fuel from nuclear power plants. However, it can also be enriched to the degree of 90% necessary for the production of nuclear weapons.
In July 2015, Iran had almost 20,000 centrifuges. The JCPOA limits the installation to no more than 5,060 of the oldest and least efficient centrifuges at Natanz for 10 years.
Iran promised to reduce its uranium reserves by 98% to 300 kilograms, which should maintain its level of enrichment by 3.67%.
In January 2016, Iran drastically reduced the number of centrifuges installed in Natanz and Fordo, and shipped tons of low-grade uranium to Russia.
In addition, the agreement establishes that research and development can only be carried out in Natanz, and for a maximum of eight years.
Fordo enrichment is not allowed for 15 years and forces Tehran to convert the underground facility into a nuclear physics and technology center.
The 1,044 centrifuges at the site will be used to produce radioisotopes for medicinal, agricultural, industrial and scientific use.