Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks during a news conference in Vienna, Austria, November 26, 2021.
REUTERS/Leonhard FoegerIran has begun a review of its nuclear program after Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said the Islamic Republic was prepared to make “no mistakes” in its pursuit of atomic weapons, according to a statement released by the state news agency IRNA.
Iran’s atomic program is not the main focus of Iran’s new foreign policy, but the nuclear watchdog will make recommendations on its implementation and a “final decision” will be made by the government, IRNA said.
The announcement came after Iran signed a new deal with world powers for a reduction in its nuclear weapons program, the deal announced on Sunday by President Hassan Rouhani.
The deal is aimed at easing sanctions against Iran by allowing it to resume some of its most sensitive nuclear work, including the development of a uranium enrichment centrifuge, according the White House.
The United States, Russia and Britain have all pressed for a tougher stance against Iran over its nuclear programme, with the US seeking to block any agreement that would allow it to continue enrichment of uranium for weapons-grade material.
The US has already suspended Iranian uranium enrichment, but Iran has said it will continue enrichment under its own terms.
The nuclear deal will also make it harder for Iran to develop a nuclear weapon, IRN said.
Iran has a heavy stockpile of nuclear material, but some of the material is enriched to low levels and not in a reactor.
Tehran has said that its weapons program is solely aimed at peaceful purposes, but experts and US officials have raised concerns that Tehran is using the material to make bombs.
The IRNA statement said the review will take “several months”, without providing further details.
Iran and the P5+1 group of powers – the US, Russia, China, Britain and France – reached the nuclear deal on Sunday after a week-long meeting in Vienna.
They agreed to a reduction of the number of their nuclear weapons stockpiles from about 4,500 to just 1,500, a move that was seen as an improvement over previous rounds of talks.
A final agreement was expected to be signed by Monday.
The negotiations focused on how to prevent Iran from building a nuclear bomb and on the nuclear program’s peaceful nature.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi told the official IRNA news agency that “Iran and its people are willing to cooperate and work towards a final agreement.”
IRNA did not say whether the nuclear review would include a review on Tehran’s ballistic missile program, which the US has accused Tehran of developing and testing over the years.