(Persia Digest) - A nuclear expert in Iran has commented on US demands to amend the 2015 JCPOA nuclear agreement between Iran and P5+1 by saying: “Historically, the US was opposed to uranium enrichment by Iran under George W Bush. But, at a later date, it realized that this was not a viable policy. Thus, it seems the US will review its demands again.”
The New York Times writes in a report that the UK, France, and Germany have reached a consensus for another agreement to keep the JCPOA intact rather than amend it. These three European powers have agreed on three issues. Firstly, the need to discuss Iran’s missile program; secondly, to have unrestricted access to Iranian military installations; and thirdly, to extend the expiration date for the JCPOA sunset clauses.
The news has been announced while Iran has been opposed to making any changes to the agreement. Persia Digest has conducted an interview with Hassan Beheshtipour about Iran’s nuclear program.
Hassan Beheshtipour told Persia Digest: “The new issues put forward recently were also discussed during the JCPOA negotiations without yielding any results. In fact, Obama and John Kerry were also in favor of these three issues being included in the agreement. But Iran refused; because with these three requests, it seems that Iran is seeking unlimited enrichment.”
He continued: “Essentially, the JCPOA signatories agreed to a minimum in order to conclude a deal. If these three requests were stressed on, an agreement would never have been reached.”
He added: “On the other hand, the European powers themselves were the ones to insist on limiting the talks to the nuclear program. Iran welcomed the proposal because other topics were too vast to negotiate. For instance, Iran wants to talk about the pressures and threats posed by the US and Israel on the region, or the dichotomy of the West’s approach towards human rights.”
About inspecting Iran’s military installations, Beheshtipour commented: “This has no justification, because Iran’s nuclear activities do not take place at its military installations. The IAEA visited these sites in 2004, 2005, and 2014 and closed the PMD file for good. As a result, Iran will not accept such a demand and it is also against logic.”
Beheshtipour also talked about the JCPOA sunset clauses, and said: “By accepting the Additional Protocol, Iran has accepted permanent restrictions if approved by the Parliament; but expecting the nuclear agreement to be unlimited is a revocation of purpose; because, once the agreement expires in eight years, or at a time announced by the IAEA, Iran’s circumstances will be normalized like all other IAEA member states.”
He continued: “The US is making new demands when it has not even remained faithful to its commitments under the JCPOA. It could at least take care of these first before making new requests.”
He added: “If the US and EU are worried about our regional security, they would do best to start with Israel who is the main regional threat here.”
When asked whether the sanctions will gradually return if Iran refuses to accept these three requests, Beheshtipour answered: “In that case, Iran will also gradually review its commitments. Iran’s hands are not tied and should the West insist on this, Iran can also review the JCPOA and reduce its obligations.”
He concluded: “Historically, the US was opposed to uranium enrichment by Iran under George W Bush. But, at a later date, it realized that this was not a viable policy. Thus, it seems the US will review its demands again. John Kerry, the former US Secretary of State, is well aware that further restrictions on Iran will backfire.”