Rouhani: Iran com­mit­ted to JCPOA as long as it en­joys ben­e­fits Iran will con­tinue pro­duc­ing mis­siles

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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.

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