Just as the Obama administration insists that the implementation of the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran is smooth sailing, the House Democratic whip is calling out reports that the Islamic Republic has stopped dismantling centrifuges.
State media reported Tuesday that the work had stopped in two uranium enrichment plants, just days after Iran began apparently complying with the deal by shutting down inactive centrifuges Natanz and Fordow.
“The process stopped with a warning,” said Ali Shamkhani, secretary of the National Security Council, according to the ISNA student news agency. Twenty members of parliament reportedly wrote to President Hassan Rouhani last week stating that the deactivation of centrifuges flew in the face of the wishes of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) stressed that “the United States and our international partners must not tolerate any attempt by Iran to bend to its hardliners by delaying the fulfillment of its obligations under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.”
“Allegations that Iran has paused the dismantling of centrifuges at two enrichment plants, which it is required to do under the JCPOA, are disconcerting, and they come just after Iran detained another American citizen and tested a ballistic missile,” the top Dem said in a statement Tuesday.
“Iran must continue to reduce its number of centrifuges for uranium enrichment and adhere to every requirement of the JCPOA. Iran delays implementation of the agreement at its own peril, and foreign businesses ought to weigh carefully any decision to reenter Iran’s marketplace before certification of its compliance with its obligations.”
Hoyer added, “As I have stated many times before, Iran’s leadership cannot be trusted, which is why there must be clear and unambiguous consequences for even minor violations of the agreement.”
“The P5+1 and the United Nations Security Council must put in place the strictest enforcement regime possible,” he said. “Iran’s leaders must know with certainty that they cannot get away with shirking any of their obligations to dismantle key components of their country’s nuclear program.”
“Iran’s government must decide whether to adhere to its international commitments or continue to be a pariah state by giving in to conservatives and the hardliners in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps who call for Israel’s destruction and encourage the support of terrorist organizations abroad.”