Following talks with the powers this week on a new nuclear deal, Iran continues to violate the old agreement. On the orders of President Rouhani, Iran today (Saturday) began injecting gas and examining advanced centrifuges. Iranian state television has announced that the country has deployed dozens of new uranium enrichment centrifuges. Iran marks the “National Day for Nuclear Technology” today.
The Iranian Atomic Energy Agency has begun injecting gas into advanced centrifuges and has begun testing an advanced IR-9 centrifuge at the Natanz nuclear facility. Ali Akbar Salahi, the head of the agency, said that in accordance with international regulations, Iran is interested in increasing its nuclear achievements. He added that despite the restrictions and sanctions, various projects in the field of nuclear science and technology are ongoing.
A senior U.S. official said tonight that although the nuclear talks held in Vienna this week were positive, there were still question marks regarding the seriousness of Iran’s intentions to return to the nuclear deal. A senior U.S. State Department official said tonight in a briefing to reporters that the United States is still waiting to see if the seriousness it has demonstrated will receive a mutual response from the Iranians.
I hope we see more signs from Iran of what they are prepared to do,” the senior official said, ahead of next week’s resumption of talks. He noted that the United States was willing to sit down for direct negotiations with Iran and that it believed that the refusal of the Iranians to sit down with the Americans only made the talks more difficult and cumbersome. However, he stressed that his country would not pay a price for direct negotiations.
The talks next week will continue to address the list of requirements that each side must meet in order to return to the nuclear deal. A senior State Department official said the talks were still “in the first step of the first part.”
Last Wednesday, the United States announced that it was ready to remove the sanctions it had imposed on Iran to renew the implementation of the nuclear deal. A State Department statement in Washington said it was prepared to remove sanctions that were inconsistent with the 2015 agreement. However, a spokesman for the ministry, Ned Price, told reporters that he was not in a position to provide details on which sections were involved.
In his speech on the eve of Holocaust Martyrs ‘and Heroes Remembrance Day, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu referred to the resumption of talks on the nuclear agreement. “History has taught us that such agreements, with such extremist regimes, are worth as much as a clove of garlic. I also say to our best friend – an agreement that will pave the way for Iran to acquire nuclear weapons will not bind us.