EghtesadOnline: Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali-Akbar Salehi says that if the new US President Donald Trump tears up the nuclear deal, Iran will be ready to ramp its nuclear program back up.
Speaking to CBC, the online Canadian information source, Salehi stressed that Tehran does not want to see the nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to be torn up, but Iran will go back to the pre-JCPOA conditions if it happens, ILNA reported.
In the first comments on Trump's Jan 20 inauguration from a high-ranking member of Iran's government, Salehi, who is also a vice-president, said he viewed the absence of a mention of Iran in Trump's inaugural speech as 'positive,' CBC reported on Saturday.
CBC News in Iran further said, '…, he (Salehi) also dismissed the new US administration's intention to develop a 'state of the art' missile defense system to stave off attacks from North Korea and Iran.'
As CBC reported, 'That intention was announced yesterday on the White House website, within minutes of Trump's inauguration.'
'The United States - it's more than 10,000 miles [16,000 kilometers] away from Iran, and we have never intended to manufacture missiles that would go that far,' CBC quoted Salehi as saying.
CBC has described the 2015 nuclear deal as 'The unprecedented agreement in 2015 brought together Iran with the US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany in a rare show of international consensus.'
As the Canadian news source says, Salehi is a key architect of the deal that Trump wants to tear up, and if that happens, Iran will 'act appropriately,' he said.
'We did once before … that deal didn't work and Iran was able to go back to its nuclear activities with high speed.
'We can very easily snap back and go back … not only to where we were, but a much higher position technologically speaking,' CBC quoted him as stressing.
'I don't want to see that day. I don't want to make a decision in that course, but we are prepared,' Salehi added.
Salehi says he watched the inauguration with the expectation that Trump would mention Iran or its nuclear deal. But he did not raise either, CBC reported at the end of its interview with the senior Iranian nuclear official.