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Iran can fully restore nuclear program if JCPOA violated: Rouhani

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (L) (photo by AFP)

President Hassan Rouhani 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.

Speaking at a ceremony in Tehran Wednesday to mark the first anniversary of the deal, Rouhani 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.

The accord, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was reached between Iran and the the US, Britain, Russia, France, China, and the Germany — known as the P5+1 — on July 14, 2015 following some 23 months of intensive talks.

Under the deal, Iran agreed to limit its nuclear program and provide enhanced access to international atomic monitors in return for the termination of all nuclear-related sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

“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,” Rouhani 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 Rouhani 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 Rouhani 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.

Rouhani 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.

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