Speaking on the social media forum Clubhouse on Friday, Ali-Akbar Salehi said that Iran accepted restrictions under the 2015 nuclear deal with the world powers, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), but did not relinquish any of its rights.
“We suspended some rights for a while. For example, we did not produce metal uranium and plutonium,” he added.
Salehi noted that the Islamic Republic was supposed to produce 120 kilograms of 20 percent enriched uranium within a year after the implementation of the Strategic Action Plan to Counter Sanctions, a law passed last December by the Iranian Parliament.
“Now, we have reached 50 kilograms,” he estimated.
Salehi said, “If there is an agreement and America returns to the JCPOA and Iran verifies that, Tehran can instantly stop 20% enrichment and other expansions. But removing them will take 2-3 months.”
The Iranian nuclear chief further said, “All three power plants in Bushehr are to have a desalination plant that will irrigate Bushehr and neighboring villages…. In addition, we have taken great strides in nuclear fusion and made good investments in this filed.”
“In the coming months, we will inform the people of good news regarding the nuclear propulsion.”
The future of the JCPOA has been in doubt since May 2018, when former US president Donald Trump unilaterally pulled the US out of the deal and imposed the “toughest ever” sanctions on Iran.
Despite throwing verbal support behind the JCPOA, the European parties to the deal — France, Britain and Germany — have succumbed to Washington’s pressure and failed to fulfill their contractual commitments to protect Tehran's economic interests.
That prompted Tehran to suspend some of its obligations as part of its legal rights stipulated in Article 36 of the JCPOA.
The new US administration, under President Joe Biden, has spoken of a willingness to return to the nuclear deal, but, in practice, it has so far been sticking with Trump’s futile “maximum pressure” campaign.
Tehran says Washington, as the first party that reneged on its commitments, should unconditionally lift all the anti-Iran sanctions in a verifiable manner.
The 18th meeting of the JCPOA Joint Commission was held virtually on Friday, with the participants agreeing to resume in-person talks, in Vienna, Austria, on Tuesday.