Iran’s nuclear enrichment never stopped: JCPOA follow-up committee

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 Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araqchi

The head of Iran’s JCPOA follow-up committee says his country has never stopped the enrichment of uranium even for a single day.

Abbas Araqchi, who is also a deputy foreign minister, added that Iran will restore its nuclear activities to a pre-JCPOA level if other parties refrain from honoring their commitments.

Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council -- the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China -- plus Germany started implementing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on January 16, 2016.

Senior diplomats from Iran, the P5+1 group of world powers and the European Union pose for a group picture at the United Nations building in Vienna, Austria, on July 14, 2015. (Photo by AFP)

Under the agreement, Iran accepted to put limitations on its program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions imposed against Tehran. “Not only was Iran’s nuclear program not halted by the JCPOA, but it continued on its path with more discipline and strength,” said Araqchi.

He went on to hail the people of Iran for their resistance against economic pressures resulting from the sanctions which forced the enemy to enter negotiations with Tehran.

“Not one person in the Islamic Republic permitted a sector in the country to become crippled. These sanctions increased Iran’s strengths to a level that the enemy was forced to the negotiations table in order to find a solution,” he stressed.

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Referring to unconfirmed reports concerning an Iranian ballistic missile test, Araqchi stressed that providing security is Iran’s top priority and that his country does not need permission to do so.

Missile tests 'absolutely unacceptable' to US

The new US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, also commented on the reports saying, "We are not going to stand by. You are ... going to see us act accordingly," while the British ambassador to the body, Matthew Rycroft, said that the Security Council recommended that the reports be studied on a committee level.

Haley (pictured above) added that missile tests by Iran are "absolutely unacceptable," asserting that Tehran is "playing nice" but she "will tell the people across the world that is something we should be alarmed about."

The Iranian Foreign Ministry says conducting missile tests are the inalienable right of Iran in defending itself. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also warned the US against politicizing  Tehran’s legitimate efforts at bolstering its defense capabilities.

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