Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has issued a warning that the Islamic Republic could restore elements of its nuclear programme if world leaders do not live up to their side of the deal signed last year.
Live on state TV on Wednesday, the day before the one year anniversary of the signing of the deal, President Rouhani warned that Iran is “completely ready” and able to quickly restore its nuclear programme if Western powers do not keep to the terms of the deal.
He also commended the deal as widely beneficial, arguing it promotes peace and stability and that violating it “will harm everyone”.
The remarks come after it emerged last week that Iran is still attempting to secretly procure illicit nuclear technology and equipment, one year after the signing of the Iran nuclear deal, according to Germany’s domestic intelligence agency.
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was signed in July 2015 between Iran and P5+1 world powers.
Despite the lifting of nuclear-related penalties, the U.S. and EU maintain some sanctions on Iran over its human rights record and ballistic missile testing.
There has been frustration in the Islamic Republic that the lifting of the deal has not resulted in significant investment, with many international investors and banks still wary of conducting business in Iran.
Senior Iranian negotiator Hamid Baeidinejad said Tehran “had more expectations on the removal of economic, banking and financial restrictions, but despite all these deficiencies there is a feeling of hope inside our country to remove these obstacles” through further dialogue. He added: “We will not agree to anything less than the full implementation of the JCPOA”.
In the year following the signing of the agreement and the removal of sanctions, Iran is reported to have performed at least eight missile tests — three in 2015 and five so far in 2016.
Iran’s ballistic missile programme has become a central issue in the debate surrounding the nuclear deal, with opponents of the agreement saying test launches violate the terms of the JCPOA, while proponents argue missile tests are “inconsistent” with United Nations resolutions but not necessarily illegal.