Previously, Iranian officials have said that it has not exceeded the 300 kilograms that was agreed in the nuclear deal. Iran had agreed, by signing the JCPOA, that it would reduce it enriched uranium stock (of 3.67 per cent quality) to 300 kilograms. It was also bound to selling the excess off to foreign countries.
There have long been concerns about Iran’s compliance with the nuclear agreement, and this latest revelation shows that the concerns were founded. However, it raises many further concerns and queries, such as how Iran was able to sell such a quantity of enriched uranium.
This admission may have come as a response to critics of President Hassan Rouhani who say that he has reduced Iran’s capabilities in the nuclear domain. Salehi may be indicating that Iran has not been hindered at all, or at least as much as some believe.
When the nuclear deal was being negotiated, many promised that the agreement would put an end to the nuclear threat that Iran poses. Former President Barack Obama who was desperate to get the deal signed while he was still in office said that the deal was the only way forward.
However, it was an opportunity that the Obama administration missed out on. It had leverage because Iran was under difficult economic sanctions, yet it was Iran that got all the benefits from the deal. It was not challenged on its belligerence in the region or its ballistic missile program. Its appalling human rights abuses were not addressed.
When President Trump announced that he was pulling the United States out of the JCPOA, he explained that the deal does nothing to stop the Iran threat. He said that the nuclear deal is a “great embarrassment” and that a constructive and comprehensive deal should have been drawn up in the first place. He said that Iran’s “bloody ambitions have grown only more brazen” since the deal was signed. “After these consultations it is clear to me that we cannot prevent an Iranian nuclear bomb under the decaying, rotten structure of the current agreement.”
It turns out that those who opposed the deal before it was even signed should have been heard. They said that the Iranian regime could not be trusted, and indeed, all it takes is a look back to the regime’s track record and it becomes very clear that the regime’s word means nothing. It will act in its own interests regardless of who gets caught up in the deception.
The European signatories of the deal have defended it time and time again and it is clear that they want it to remain in place. However, this, coupled with the fact that the Europeans are hesitant to take any decisive action faced with Iran’s belligerence is emboldening Iran even more.