image Photo: Reuters

Iran withdraws from additional JCPOA commitments

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has announced the Islamic Republic’s fourth reduction of its commitments Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement is reactivation of the sensitive Fordow enrichment facility by injecting gas into 1,044 of its centrifuges starting tomorrow. Rouhani made the announcement in a speech broadcast live on state television this morning, anticipating that “They might start making a fuss about it, asking us why do you want to do this in Fordow? We know all about it.”

In addition, Iran announced its intent to launch a new array of 30 advanced IR-6 centrifuges, which will provide the Islamic Republic with a significantly shorter breakout time for a nuclear weapon. Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization chief Ali Akbar Salehi unveiled Tehran’s plan, by mockingly saying, “We have to thank our enemies for creating an opportunity for the Islamic Republic of Iran, especially in the nuclear technology industry, to show how we could obtain such an achievement at making S8 machines in such a short time.”

Despite these developments, European powers continue to voice hope of reinstating the 2015 JCPOA. “We are aware of Iran’s announcement to use so called modern centrifuges and it’s not that new,” responded German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. “Apparently, this is an implementation of what was already announced in the beginning of September, to no longer comply with the nuclear accord in research and development,” he said, stressing “We view this as unacceptable.”

Berlin’s top diplomat added, “Ultimately, Iran is putting the entire nuclear accord at risk, and that’s why we expect Iran to return to its JCPOA obligations.” He then warned that, “Every additional step by Iran which distances itself from the accord will endanger the accord as a whole.”