By Iran Review
President Hassan Rohani says Iran can restore all those aspects of its nuclear program that it has agreed to limit under a deal with six world powers if the agreement is violated by those countries.
Rohani said Iran will remain committed to the accord but will also be able to quickly return the nuclear program to any desired level if the agreement is violated.
“If, some day, the P5+1 refuses to fulfill its commitments, we will be completely prepared, and, in terms of nuclear capabilities, we are at such a level so as to be able to reach our desired stage in a short period of time,” Rohani said.
The JCPOA, the president said, “is beneficial to all countries, and to global peace, security, stability, and development, and its violation will be to everyone’s detriment.”
“Anyone that initiates the violation of the deal will be the loser on the international arena,” he added.
The president said everyone should make efforts “toward the implementation and consolidation of the JCPOA and toward benefiting from it in general.”
Suggesting that July 14, the day when the deal was signed, be called the “Day of Interaction with the World,” President Rohani said the JCPOA proved Iran’s might.
“On this day, the Islamic Republic of Iran proved to the entire world that it has such competence and proficiency in political, technical and legal issues as well as in logic that it can negotiate with big powers to resolve a complex international issue and adequately defend the Iranian nation’s rights.”
President Rohani went on to enumerate the benefits of the JCPOA for Iran, and thanked those involved in the negotiations that led to the deal, including negotiators.
The president praised the “new atmosphere” created by the accord, saying it can lead to “better economic, defense, and technological activity” for Iran.
“In some fields, including banking, we still haven’t reached the expected level, although good steps have been taken in this regard and some connections have been made with big international banks,” he said.
Rohani said one such benefit was that the threat of military invasion against Iran was removed as the nuclear pretext for such an invasion was proven hollow.
It was also made clear that Iran has never been and will never be seeking to obtain nuclear weapons, and “what mattered to us was capabilities in enrichment as a technical and scientific issue,” he added.
“Negotiations…made it clear that nuclear activities and enrichment are Iran’s inalienable rights,” Rouhani said, adding thanks to the JCPOA, sanctions on arms sales have also been lifted and Iran can upgrade its defensive and military might.
A senior Iranian official also said the Islamic Republic’s missile program serves the country’s national interests and will not be abandoned.
Hamid Ba’eedinejad said Iran’s missile program is defined in completely defensive terms, dismissing recent opposition expressed by the UN and the West.
“We cannot set the country’s national interests based on others’ viewpoints,” Ba’eedinejad said.
“The foreign opponents of Iran’s missile program should not expect Iran to quit its defensive and security interests. Iran’s missile program is no threat against” regional and other countries, Ba’eedinejad said.
Ba’eedinejad said Ban’s draft report on the resolution is “highly imbalanced,” expressing hope that the version of the report to be officially published will be “balanced and comprehensive.”
The senior negotiator at the nuclear talks also said the agreement with the so-called P5+1 group of countries is holding a year after it was agreed but more needs to be done to ensure its full implementation.
“The total process has been relatively satisfactory despite the difficulties that we see in the implementation,” he said. “We believe that the deal has not been violated so far and efforts continue to resolve the remaining issues,” Ba’eedinejad added.
Ba’eedinejad said Iran “had more expectations on the removal of economic, banking and financial restrictions, but despite all these deficiencies there is a feeling of hope inside our country to remove these obstacles” through more talks.
“We will not agree to anything less than the full implementation of the JCPOA,” he said, referring to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action as the nuclear agreement is officially called.
The agreement caused “great optimism” in Iran on “unrelated issues”, Ba’eedinejad said, but those expectations are “fortunately being balanced and adjusted to reality.”
Ba’eedinejad expressed hope that “with negotiations and consultations, the likelihood exists for the resolution of the problems.”
He said the joint commission on the JCPOA which monitors the implementation of the deal will convene in Vienna next week with the participation of Iranian and P5+1 representatives.
A senior official also said Iran will “severely confront” any measure taken to hamper the country’s missile activities.
“We will severely confront any move — be it political, legal, or technical — that hinders our missile program,” Abbas Araqchi, a deputy foreign minister, said.
Araqchi said Ban’s report about Resolution 2231 elicited a harsh response from Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
“Mr. Zarif had a very harsh telephone conversation with Mr. Ban Ki-moon” right after, Araqchi said, adding, Iran, however did not take an official stance because the draft was not official.
He said Iran hopes Ban will revise the report for publication, “otherwise, it will entail a harsh treatment from the Iranian Foreign Ministry.”
Araqchi said the claims in the draft report are “certainly made under pressure from the US and Europe.”
Araqchi said that through the nuclear agreement, Iran managed to set the two issues of the missile program and that of the nuclear program apart.
He said a previous United Nations Security Council resolution — Resolution 1929 — had prohibited Iran from engaging in ballistic missile activities, a prohibition that he said was “dangerous.”
“One of our achievements in the JCPOA was that, by whatever means at hand, we managed to end the state of the missile and nuclear activities being intertwined,” Araqchi said.
“This was a huge feat and took a lot of effort,” he said.
Araqchi pointed out that, following Iran’s first test-firing of a missile after the deal, US officials acknowledged that the JCPOA had not been breached, testimony to the fact that missile activities were no more associated with the nuclear program by the Americans.
However, he said, the US continued to be “worried about our capabilities.”
“Our missile tests were taken to the Security Council; yet, the US failed to get even a press release,” the Iranian deputy foreign minister said. “We have pushed them way back.”
Araqchi cautioned, however, that Iran should always be prepared for hostile action on the missile issue.
“We should always expect them to try and come forward regarding the missile issue at whatever opportunity [they can find], and we should push them back,” he said.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Araqchi said Iran will continue to support the Lebanese resistance movement of Hezbollah.
“Supporting the resistance axis is always stressed by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, the administration, and the entire establishment, and this is an unchangeable policy from which we will not derogate,” he said.