Rouhani: Iran committed to JCPOA as long as it enjoys benefits Iran will continue producing missiles
President Hassan Rouhani said Iran will remain committed to its obligations under the 2015 nuclear deal with six world powers as long as the country benefits from the agreement.
“As it has repeatedly declared, Iran will never be the first country to withdraw from the nuclear deal. We are committed to the JCPOA as long as we can enjoy the benefits mentioned in it,”
President Rouhani told the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yukiya Amano, in Tehran, using the acronym for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
He stressed that the IAEA is the only competent entity to confirm Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA, urging the UN nuclear agency to remain impartial in its evaluations.
Rouhani said Iran is determined to work with the IAEA over the long run. “Based on Iran’s full cooperation in recent years, we hope that the agency will declare the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program as soon as possible.”
The Iranian president rejected as “unacceptable” attempts by the United States to exert influence on the work of the IAEA.
“A country that has signed an international and multilateral agreement does not have the right to deal with it in whatever way it likes”, Rouhani said.
Iran to build more missiles
Before meeting with Amano, Rouhani told an open session of Iran’s Parliament that US calls to renegotiate the JCPOA are “ridiculous,” vowing that Iran will continue to produce missiles for its defense.
The US House of Representatives on Thursday voted to impose new sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missile program, while Senators urged a vigorous push for tougher inspections of Iran’s military facilities.
“They are faulting us over our weapons. We will build, produce and stockpile any weapons of any kind that we need in order to defend ourselves and the territorial integrity of our beloved country,” Rouhani said in a speech in Parliament on Sunday.
“We have built, are building, and will continue to build missiles, and this violates no international agreements,” the president added to chants of “Death to America” by lawmakers.
The missile program is not technically part of the nuclear agreement, with the US admitting that Iran’s missile tests do not violate the terms of the deal between Tehran and six major powers. Washington’s new sanctions, however, have undermined the nuclear agreement which US President Donald Trump refused to certify this month after certifying it twice before.
Rouhani rebuked “repeated breaches” by the US government of its commitments, saying it has put the country’s credibility at stake.
Washington has been pushing for a renegotiation of the 2015 nuclear deal so that it includes a broader range of issues such as Iran’s missile program.
Rouhani said the US is in fact declaring that it is not a negotiating partner and knows no moral and international principles.
“Can this country tell other East Asian countries to negotiate with it? How do you talk about negotiations when you have not been committed to your previous negotiations with Iran? You have become untrustworthy before the world.”
At the meeting with Rouhani, Amano said the future of the nuclear deal strongly depends on the commitments of all parties to the agreement.
Amano: Iran living up to deal
Earlier in the day, Amano attended a joint press conference with the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), Ali Akbar Salehi, during which he stressed that Iran is living up to all of its obligations under the JCPOA.
Since January 2016, he said, the IAEA has monitored Iran’s nuclear commitments under the JCPOA and conducted verification checks.
“The agency believes that the JCPOA is an important achievement for verification. The agency could stipulate that Iran’s nuclear commitments under the JCPOA are being implemented,” he added.
“The most important thing is to be factual,” Amano said. “I have always been factual since I became director general of the IAEA. Sometimes I have to report bad news but I also report the good news. It is very important to stick to the rules and I will continue to do so.”
Salehi said that he had exchanged views with Amano about Section T of the JCPOA, which deals with the technology that could contribute to the development of a nuclear explosive device. Iran’s nuclear chief stressed that Section T does not include special inspections, but the opposite side is making its own special interpretation of the provision.
“We can produce uranium enriched at 20 percent within four days, but we do not want the JCPOA to collapse,” Salehi said.
“So far, eight times, the IAEA has released reports that state that Iran has met its commitments fully,” he said.
Salehi also said demands by the US to inspect non-nuclear military facilities are a waste of time. “Military bases are not part of the deal … so it’s useless to talk about them,” he said.
Amano is in Tehran for talks with Iranian officials as part of the regular dialogue between the two sides.
According to the IAEA, discussions were expected to focus on the verification and monitoring of the implementation of the JCPOA.
Eight IAEA reports have confirmed Iran’s full commitment to its side of the bargain since January 2016, when the agreement went into effect.
Press TV contributed to this story.