Iran signals ability to restore nuclear program if needed

Sectional view of ITER's tokamak

Sectional view of ITER's tokamak

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is marking the anniversary of the nuclear deal with Iran with a vow that the United States and its partners will uphold their commitments as long as Iran abides by the pact.

Responding to a question on missile program, he said Iran's missile capability is at the service of the country's national interests and it has fully been defined based on defensive goals and is an important instrument to defend Iran's territorial integrity and a pillar of power in the region. Its economy is forecast to grow at a healthy 3.7 percent this year, he said, after shrinking by more than 6 percent before Rouhani's election and a 2013 interim nuclear deal. They said both parties have worked in the past to address Iran in a way that demonstrated unity instead of dissension.

So, from the standpoint of Iran implementing and complying with its nuclear commitments, the JCPOA has operated well for its first year.

Iran has shipped out 98 per cent of its enriched uranium, dismantled two third of its centrifuges, filled its plutonium production reactor with concrete and adopted the most intrusive inspection and verification programme ever negotiated for a nuclear programme, he said.

But forces in Iran and in the United States are pressing for adjustments to the accord that could spell its demise, Mr. Sadjadpour says.

In Iran, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei warns that U.S. noncompliance could lead Iran to alter course.

He notes that only months into the accord, Mr. Khamenei summoned a group of Persian poets and encouraged them to write poetry on the theme of "We delivered on the nuclear deal, but America hasn't delivered on its end".

In the USA, there are few signs that a year of implementation has swayed either opponents or supporters to think differently.

Underlining that Iranian nation will not be satisfied with anything less than the implementation of JCPOA, Baeedinejad said the implementation of nuclear deal has been partially satisfactory and the negotiating team believes it has not been violated despite ambiguities and problems in the way. Numerous prominent signers were supporters from the outset. "The opposition is as intense and as focused as it was last summer".

The measure introduced by Republicans Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Marco Rubio and Democrats Robert Menendez and Joe Manchin would expand sanctions for Iran's ballistic missile development, sanction transfers of conventional weapons to or from Iran and extend the Iran Sanctions Act.

"They won't be able to gather together against us as they did in the past, especially when we are showing them a new face of flexibility", said Mohebbian.

After nearly two years of negotiations, a deal was struck: Iran would rein in its nuclear program.

According to Lieberman, Iran's sponsorship of terrorism has been greatly enhanced through the JCPOA, thereby strengthening the abilities of its terror proxies - namely Hezbollah, Hamas and Iranian-backed militias - to carry out its threats. While Tehran has made grand pronouncements of billion dollar contracts signed with Boeing and Airbus, it is unclear how such transactions get financed.

Has Obama made the deal irreversible?

On Wednesday, Iran's president Hassan Rouhani, who is a strong proponent of the deal, warned that Iran would pull back from the deal if the other parties, including the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Russia and China, didn't adhere to their promises of sanctions relief.

"The administration said 'absolutely not".

Speaking before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee earlier this year in Washington, D.C., Trump claimed his "No. 1" priority is to "dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran".

Others have the opposite concern: that the departure of the deal's major protagonists could lead to its demise.

"It really wasn't long ago that we saw a rapidly expanding nuclear program in Iran, only months away from having enough weapons-grade uranium to build 10 to 12 nuclear weapons, and we were on the cusp of confrontation", Secretary of State John Kerry said recently.

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