10:42 GMT +323 September 2019
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    Hassan Rouhani on April 9, 2018 shows him (C) during a ceremony to mark National Nuclear Technology Day in Tehran

    Israel Intel Chief: Iran Won’t Obtain Atomic Bomb Even if It Leaves Nuclear Deal

    © AFP 2019 / HO / IRANIAN PRESIDENCY
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    On 8 May, Tehran announced that it would partially discontinue its obligations under the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, giving European signatories 60 days to ensure that Iran's interests are protected under the agreement. This was reportedly followed by a drastic increase in Iran’s uranium enrichment rate.

    Israel Defence Forces (IDF) intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Tamir Heiman has alleged that Tehran may fail to obtain a nuclear weapon even if the Islamic Republic exits from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal amid US pressure.

    “Iran is under unprecedented pressure from every direction by US sanctions”, Heiman told reporters at the Israel Intelligence Heritage and Commemoration Centre in Tel Aviv.

    READ MORE: Washington Reveals What Deal It Wants to Sign With Iran to Replace JCPOA — Envoy

    He did not elaborate whether the flop could be caused by Iran’s foot-dragging on atomic bomb creation due to the risk of global intervention, a pre-emptive strike, or a scientific mishap. Iranian officials have not commented on the statement yet.

    This comes a few weeks after the Tasnim news agency cited an unnamed official in the Natanz nuclear facility as saying that Iran’s uranium enrichment rate had increased fourfold following Tehran’s suspension of some of its obligations under the nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

    This followed Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif confirming that Tehran remains committed to the JCPOA, despite the unilateral US exit from the agreement in 2018.

    READ MORE: JCPOA Can't Be Sacrificed Just Because US Wants to Punish Iran — Russia

    “We believe that escalation by the United States is unacceptable and uncalled for. We exercise maximum restraint in spite of the fact that the United States withdrew from [the] JCPOA last May”, Zarif pointed out.

    On 8 May, he announced that the Islamic Republic would not implement “some [of its] voluntary commitments” under the JCPOA because the EU and other states had failed to resist US pressure.

    Tehran gave other JCPOA signatories 60 days to ensure that Iran's interests were protected under the agreement; otherwise, the Islamic Republic would be ready to take further steps on scrapping the deal.

    READ MORE: US Vows to Respond With Military Force if Iran 'Attacks American Interests'

    The move led to a further exacerbation of Tehran’s ties with Washington, which slapped additional sanctions on Iran and sent an aircraft carrier strike group, Patriot missiles, and B-52 bombers to the Middle East in what US National Security Adviser John Bolton dubbed a “clear message” to Iran.

    On 8 May 2018, US President Donald Trump announced Washington’s withdrawal from the JCPOA and reinstated wide-ranging sanctions on Tehran, including secondary sanctions targeting businesses and financial institutions of countries that have commercial relations with the Islamic Republic.

    Iran, China, Germany, France, Russia, the UK, and the EU reaffirmed their commitment to the deal after the US’ exit.

    Related:

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    Iran: US Presses UN Members to Breach Resolution Endorsing JCPOA Or Be Punished
    France, China Reaffirm Commitment to JCPOA, DPRK Denuclearization - Macron
    JCPOA Doomed? US Could Use All Tools to Push EU Out of Iran Nuclear Deal - Prof
    UN Confirms Iran Keeping Within JCPOA Limits on Uranium Stock, Enrichment
    Tags:
    obligations, pressure, agreement, sanctions, Iran nuclear deal, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Hassan Rouhani, Iran
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