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Nuclear Deal on Verge of Collapse, Iran Speaker Threatens to Build New Uranium Enrichment Plant | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Iran’s parliament speaker Larijani. Reuters

London-Iran accused on Wednesday the P5+1 for breaching an agreement concerning its nuclear program when it published nuclear secrets, saying it had violated the conditions of negotiations.

Therefore, a year following the signature of the nuclear deal, the latest developments show the weakness of what was agreed on between Iran and the P5+1 group.

Last Monday, the U.S.-owned Associated Press news agency published a leaked document with information saying that the internationally negotiated deal will allow Tehran to enrich uranium 11 years after the deal is implemented and not 15 years as previously announced.

The deal would therefore reinforce Tehran’s ability to build a bomb before the deadline.

As a first reaction to the leaked document, head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi said in a televised statement: “Iran refuses that information about its long-term nuclear program be leaked,” adding that the content of the agreement was not expected to be made public.

Also, Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani had asked to get ready to build a new nuclear enrichment plant, a step that could threaten the future of the “nuclear deal.”

In response to three decisions taken by the U.S. Congress against Iran in the last couple of days, Larijani said: “The hostile measures against the nuclear deal have reached a point where Iran was left with no choice but to confront.”

Larijani, therefore, asked the AEOI to build a nuclear plant for enrichment and inform parliament about the process.

However, Salehi later played down Larijani’s comments. He said: “A new facility isn’t on the agenda,” according to Iran’s Mizan news agency.

Salehi said the nuclear deal stipulates that if any party violates it, then Iran can go back to enrich uranium at an even higher capacity than before the agreement was signed.

The head of the AEOI warned “from the presence of a conspiracy” against Iran.

Also on Wednesday, several Iranian officials were upset about U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s report concerning Iran’s regional and missile activities.

The report said that the ballistic missile launched by Iran in March was at odds with a U.N. deal, and “not consistent with the constructive spirit” of the agreement.

Larijani, who was speaking in Parliament, took an escalatory tone in his reply to the U.N. report by calling on the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran to prepare a plan for the launch of a nuclear plant for enrichment in certain grades.

Reports said that Parliament members supported Larijani’s comments by shouting: “Death to America.”

This was the second time in a week that a high-ranking Iranian official speaks about the possibility that Iran enriches uranium. Last Thursday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had threatened to withdraw from the Vienna treaty if Washington delayed its promises made in the nuclear deal.