TEHRAN (FNA)- Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi said Tehran continues rapid development of its nuclear industry, adding that those parts which have slowed down or stopped as a result of the Geneva deal with the West could resume operation in a twinkling of an eye.
“We can say that this year we are ahead of the previous year and have only suspended the (production of) 20% grade uranium (enrichment) in a bid to make progress in the negotiations (with the world powers),” Salehi said in a televised interview with Iran’s state-run TV on Wednesday.
He stressed that Iran enjoys both capacity and capability to enrich uranium to 5% and 20% levels and can switch to 20% enrichment whenever it wants.
“We have also had some small suspension of activities at Arak (heavy water) reactor which cannot actually be interpreted as suspension in the true sense of the world, rather we have decided not to install the main equipment, and this has granted us an opportunity to reassess the equipment to check everything again, specially due to the industrial sabotage (which has been carried out by the foreign suppliers) and an opportunity for a new reassessment of the core of Arak reactor,” Salehi said.
Underlining Iran’s rapid progress in other parts of the nuclear industry, he said, “We have intensely developed the work in discovering and extracting the raw materials and have made some developments in aerial geophysics.”
“We have also worked on (nuclear) fuel standards,” Salehi concluded.
In surprising remarks on Monday, Salehi said not only the western, but also some developing states have been trying to sabotage Iran’s nuclear installations through selling malfunctioning parts to the country.
“Unfortunately, different European and western countries and famous world industries with special positions (in this industry) have collaborated with the Zionist regime and the US efforts to sabotage Iran’s nuclear industry, and if one day we reveal the names of these industries and companies to the world, all people will understand the importance of this issue,” Salehi told reporters on the sidelines of the inauguration ceremony of a specialized exhibition on Iran’s campaign against industrial sabotage inaugurated in Tehran on Monday.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran inevitably purchases certain parts from certain developing countries in the east, but unfortunately they are also after sabotaging Iran’s nuclear industry,” he said.
“We might not get surprised by the West’s sabotage operations against Iran given its opposition to the Islamic Republic of Iran, but we are certainly stunned when such moves are made by the eastern countries and we should ask why the eastern states are fooled by the West’s moves,” he added.
Senior Iranian parliamentary officials underlined on Saturday that maintaining nuclear achievements is of more importance to Iran than annulment of the sanctions in talks with the world powers.
“We will surely not sacrifice the nuclear achievements for the sake of removing the sanctions; rather we will wisely try to protect our national interests,” Chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi said.
He reiterated that Arak heavy water reactor, the amount of enrichment and conducting research and development activities are among Iran’s redlines in the talks with the six world powers.
“Iran has swiftly boosted its nuclear capabilities in recent years and the country has fortunately gained many achievements,” Boroujerdi said.
Meantime, the senior Iranian legislator hailed the government’s successful policy in nuclear talks with the world powers, saying that in its recent negotiations with the West Iran succeeded in preventing the western countries from continuing their illegal measures against Tehran, including the approval of new sanctions.
Also on Saturday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also said Tehran plans to continue talks with the Group 5+1 (the US, Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany) very seriously until it succeeds in restoring its inalienable nuclear rights.
“We will continue our (present) path in foreign policy and will seriously continue our negotiations based on logic, our rights and international undertakings,” Rouhani said, addressing people in a ceremony to commemorate the Government Week in Tehran.
In relevant remarks, Rouhani had also underlined last Wednesday that Iran will powerfully continue the talks with the six world powers, but it would never give up its inalienable nuclear rights.
“We will sit at the negotiating table with the world powers with our distinguished and powerful diplomats who have sufficient experience in different areas and God willingly we will protect our nuclear rights and will bring back calm and welfare to the people,” President Rouhani said, addressing a large gathering of people in the Northwestern city of Ardebil.
He noted that although Iran is under the West’s sanctions and the government has made good progress in removal of the embargoes, the obstacles still exist.
President Rouhani said that the structure of the sanctions against Iran has cracked, and added, “We will release $7 billion of Iran’s frozen assets by November 24.”
The Iranian president pointed to the current talks between Iran and the Group 5+1, and said, “Our enemies feel that they can attack the Islamic system while due to the guidance and leadership of (Iran’s) Supreme Leader (Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei) and people’s epical presence on different scenes we will soon break the structure of the oppressive sanctions which are wrong and illegal.”
Last Sunday, Rouhani said Tehran would never accept to include its missile program in the talks with the world powers, and stressed Tehran’s serious intention for continuing uranium enrichment.
“Iran’s missile power cannot undergo negotiation at all and at any level,” President Rouhani said in a meeting with visiting Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano in Tehran.
He said any agreement between Iran and the G5+1 as envisaged in the Geneva deal inked by the seven nations in November should entail Iran’s continued uranium enrichment for civilian purposes inside the country and removal of all unilateral and international sanctions against Tehran.
“We have no fear of cooperation to obviate the ambiguities since use of the Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) has no room in Iran’s defensive doctrine based on the codes of ethics and within the framework of religion and the fatwa (religious decree) issued by Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution,” President Rouhani stressed.
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