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Iran Vows "Master Stroke" If Nuclear Deal Revoked

By Fuad Mukhtarli April 12, 2018

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Chief of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Akbar Salehi / Tehran Times

The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Akbar Salehi said Iran would reply to any U.S. maneuver to rescind the 2015 nuclear deal with a “master stroke.”

"Our enemies must know that should the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) be cancelled - an eventuality which we have never sought - there will be special circumstances in which, at the will of our senior officials, we will deal a special master stroke to those who frustrated the deal,” Salehi said at a meeting of AEOI officials on April 5, according to KhabarOnline.ir.

The JCPOA was reached in 2015, after nearly two years of negotiating between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany, a group known as the “P5+1.” In exchange for curbing its nuclear program, sanctions were relaxed beginning in January of the following year.

"We never want this to happen and are seriously trying to safeguard our national interests and sovereignty, but if America withdraws from the deal and the Europeans and other big powers retreat, we will certainly act differently," Salehi said.

He also lashed out at "unfair stances" of the opponents of the nuclear deal inside Iran, who are denying or trying to belittle the negotiated achievement, saying that hardliners who are against it are essentially against the “efforts and advances of scientists.”

Since coming into office, U.S. President Donald Trump has reluctantly signed off on verifying that Iran has adhered to the terms of the deal – a requirement that the American president must verify every 90 days, to avoid sanctions going back into effect.

In January, at the time of his last waiver, Trump vowed it would be his last, warning Iran and the U.S.’ European allies that they must radically alter the deal and make it more favorable to the U.S. The next sanction waiver is scheduled for May 12.

Salehi spoke positively of Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities, such as in the fields of medicine and energy. Certain radioactive isotopes are used in cancer treatments, a claim Iran has long used to justify its need for a nuclear program. The AEOI is also in the process of building two new power plants in Bushehr.

Iran is planning to build a hospital specializing in nuclear medicine in central Alborz Province, with construction to begin this year and be completed by 2022. The hospital is expected to be largest of its kind, and capable of servicing patients with rare conditions.

On February 5, AEOI Spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said that Austrian banks had allocated €200 million to fund and equip the hospital.