Iranian Salehi’s remarks on resumption of enrichment has two tier dimension

Nuclear Program Materials 2 February 2019 10:33 (UTC +04:00)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb.2

By Elnur Baghishov, Leman Zeynalova – Trend:

The remarks made recently by Ali Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, on resumption of uranium enrichment has a two tier dimension, Iranian economy expert Mehrdad Emadi told Trend.

“Salehi’s veiled message hinting at the resumption of certain aspects of the Iranian enrichment program and the fact that Tehran can initiate a fast tract recovery phase should the JCPOA partners (minus the U.S.) fail to deliver on their promise of access to the world finance, banking services and energy markets has a two tier dimension,” he said. “ The European dimension aimed at the E3 (Germany, France and the UK) which in my view is the more important part, as it is aimed at motivating E3 to increase their efforts toward encouraging their business communities to return to Iran especially in the automotive, energy and banking.”

This is while the eastern tier of the message addresses the tripod of the Ryad, Dubai and Tel Aviv that their continuous campaign toward keeping Iran isolated and cut off from the world economy could backfire by pushing Iran deeper into fold of Beijing-Moscow sphere of influence which in turn would strengthen the hold of the Revolutionary Guards and the radical clergies on the country, according to the expert.

Meanwhile, Emadi believes that the downside of Salehi’s approach may be the credence it gives to the portrayed image of Islamic Republic by President Trump who repeatedly has stated that Tehran always intended to use its nuclear program toward military application. “I offer the view that this indeed could be a sever dent in the credibility of Tehran’s position that Iran does not wish to obtain nuclear arms. This position so far has been supported by the regular inspections undertaken by the IAEA staff.”

Earlier, Ali Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, said that Iran can enrich uranium up to 20 percent within four days.

“If we want to come out of the nuclear deal and produce, within four days we could start our 20 percent,” Salehi told the semi-official Fars News Agency. “But we already have stockpiles of 20 percent, and the capability.”

US President Donald Trump declared Washington’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Iran in May 2018. Trump also announced the restoration of all sanctions against Iran, including secondary ones against other countries doing business with Iran. The United States re-introduced part of the sanctions against Iran on August 7, 2018, while the second batch of the sanctions came into effect on Nov.5, 2018.

The US government has agreed to let eight countries, including South Korea and Japan, as well as India, keep buying Iranian oil after it reimposes sanctions on Tehran. The waivers have been granted for six months.