"We have the capacity to implement what is expected from us, but I have to say the following. Assume we are tasked with building 1,000 IR-6 centrifuges. Fine, we can do it. But we were not told who is going to give the money", Salehi told Iranian news portal Entekhab.
According to the official, the lack of a financial facility behind the bill is a serious violation of Iran's constitution. And while expressing surprise that the Guardian Council had passed the bill into law despite such a flaw, he did not propose any viable solution to the issue.
"We cannot go to the parliament and tell it to give us money. We should address this question to the government and ask the funds from the Planning and Budget Organisation, which on its part has confirmed the lack of means for this project", Salehi said.
The official did not rule out that the lack of a financial facility might hinder the "incomplete" law's implementation.
The bill was passed by the Iranian parliament on 1 December and approved by the legislative watchdog, the Guardian Council, two days later. It obliges the government to deny IAEA inspectors access to Iranian nuclear sites and boost uranium enrichment if sanctions are not lifted within two months.
Under the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran's nuclear programme, Tehran has to keep the uranium enrichment level under 3.67 percent and only use first-generation IR-1 centrifuges. The new bill provided for an increase of the enrichment level to 20 percent and the use of 1,000 IR-2M centrifuges and at least 174 advanced IR-6 ones, with the outlook to increase their number to 1,000 by the year-end.
The bill had been in the works for a long time, but experts believe the Iranian parliament rushed it up in the wake of the assassination of nuclear physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, one of the key figures behind the Iranian nuclear programme. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has spoken against the new law.