MPs Oppose Cuts in LEU Stocks
EghtesadOnline: Lawmakers say Iran will never agree to any plan to further tighten limits it has accepted on its nuclear program under last year's deal with major powers.
The Wall Street Journal on Thursday cited western officials as saying that the US and its western allies are pressing Iran to take steps to sharply cut the amount of radioactive material it holds in a bid to shore up the deal and discourage the incoming Trump administration from abandoning it.
The report was denied by Iran's Foreign Ministry the next day.
"No new talks between Iran and other JCPOA participants to make changes to the provisions of the deal have taken place, and the report is completely false," Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi said.
Western officials claimed the discussions about reducing Iran's stockpile of low-enriched uranium (LEU) started months ago and are among a number of measures the Obama administration has been examining to fortify the accord in its final months in office.
They said if agreed upon, the alleged plan could reduce the odds of a sudden flashpoint between the US and Iran over Tehran's implementation of the deal once US president-elect Donald Trump takes office, by reducing its enriched-uranium stockpile well below the cap agreed to in the 2015 accord.
Lawmaker Mojtaba Zolnouri said any amendment to the terms of the accord would void it completely, according to Financial Tribune.
"Canceling part of the JCPOA would amount to rescinding it altogether," he said in a talk with ICANA on Saturday, using the abbreviation that stands for the formal title of the pact, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
Hossein Naqavi Hosseini, another MP, stressed that the Islamic Republic is seeking to ensure that the pact is rigorously implemented and will never consider negotiations to modify its terms.
"There is not going to be any change in the JCPOA. We prefer the thorough implementation of the action plan and have kept our side of the JCPOA so far."
Western officials claimed Iranian officials have engaged in serious discussions about the new plan but have not so far committed to it.
In the past, Iran has proven sensitive about moves that would curtail its rights to enrich uranium under the accord.
Having that right was a demand Iran made a priority before committing to the nuclear deal.
Nonetheless, Iran has sent abroad or blended into natural uranium thousands of kilograms of enriched uranium since the July 2015 accord.
Under the deal with the US and five other governments, Iran agreed to cap its stockpile of enriched uranium at 300 kilograms for the next 15 years.
While on the campaign trail, Trump vowed to scrap and, alternately, renegotiate the deal, and his picks to his national security team so far suggest his administration will take a hard line with Tehran.