Shamkhani slams Bolton’s claim about Iran’s uranium enrichment right

Tasnim – Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani hit back at US National Security Adviser John Bolton over his claim that “there should be no uranium enrichment for Iran”, saying it “lacks any legal value”.

“The enrichment of uranium for peaceful purposes is the right of all states that are parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and cannot be denied or granted,” Shamkhani said on Friday night.

“The Americans did not have such an interpretation of the NPT, (but) in 2012, Iran forced them to acknowledge the (enrichment) right and then to sit down at the negotiating table,” he added.

“The remarks made by the US national security adviser, in which he denied Iran’s right to enrich uranium, are a symbol of the non-commitment, unilateralism and ignorance of all international norms and lack any legal value or credibility,” the Iranian top security official stated.

Such remarks show that Iran’s measure to reduce its nuclear commitments is the only way to face a country that does not accept to meet any commitments, he added.

In a post on his Twitter account earlier on Friday, Bolton said, “One of the worst mistakes of the Iran deal, now on full display, was allowing Iran to maintain enrichment capabilities. There should be no enrichment for Iran.”

The remarks came after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) held a special meeting last week at Washington’s request to win the Board of Governors’ support for its anti-Iran claims about the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The emergency meeting of the 35-member Board of Governors of the IAEA was held in Vienna to discuss Iran’s nuclear program, which wrapped up with no conclusion.

The meeting came a few days after Iran increased the level of its uranium enrichment to 4.5%, which is beyond the limit set by the JCPOA. The move was part of the second phase of the country’s May 8 decision to reduce its commitments under the multilateral 2015 nuclear deal in reaction to the US violations and Europe’s inaction.

In May 2018, US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the JCPOA.

Iran and the remaining parties launched talks to save the JCPOA after the US withdrawal, but the three EU parties to the deal (France, Britain, and Germany) have failed to ensure Iran’s economic interests.

The EU’s inaction forced Tehran to stop honoring certain commitments to the nuclear deal, including a rise in the stockpile of enriched uranium.

Iran maintains that the new measures are not designed to harm the JCPOA but to save the accord by creating a balance in the commitments.