Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) made the remarks in an interview with Almayadeen which was published on Tuesday.
Touching upon Iran’s ability to enrich uranium at ‘highest level’ and western’s countries efforts to act against these kinds of capabilities, Salehi noted, “if European countries delay their cooperation and interaction with Iran, we have many options on the table, though we are not eager to use them.”
He noted that Iran enjoys highly-potential human resources in all fields including nuclear energy, adding that while other countries import reactors and related technologies, Iran is not a mere importer, rather it has a share in designing, manufacturing and managing major parts of nuclear reactors.
Western countries put all-out effort to prevent Iran from attaining the nuclear knowledge, however, when their sanction policy failed, they were forced to enter negotiations with Tehran, he noted.
"We are currently testing the eighth generation of centrifuges and it takes some 5 to 6 years for the completion of this project and their entering nuclear cycle,” Salehi explained, noting that all of Iran’s nuclear researches are carried out based on JCPOA and that the deal does not restrict researches related to advanced centrifuges.
“After [the end of] nuclear deal, Iran can produce any number of centrifuges as it wishes,” he stressed.
Iran has not lost anything in the technical realm after signing JCPOA and this has fueled US President Donald Trump’s resentment, he maintained.
“We accepted some restrictions to adhere to our commitments on JCPOA but these restrictions have not had a significant effect on the speed of Iran nuclear industry development. If it is decided to return to pre-JCPOA era, we will remove uranium enrichment restrictions based on our needs.”
If the nuclear deal falls, Iran will act freely and may reconsider its previous decisions, Salehi highlighted.
Expressing Iran’s readiness to provide regional countries with nuclear science and build research reactors, Salehi said, “regional nuclear cooperation can provide good grounds for reviving the lost trust between Iran and the Persian Gulf states.”
There is no fear of arms race in the region since Western countries do not let regional states to carry out nuclear fuel cycle unless these countries decide to achieve political independence, he maintained, adding that Iran has paid enormous cost to prove its right of using peaceful nuclear energy and other regional states may not be eager to bear such huge expense.
Salehi dismissed some Arab countries’ claims on unsafety of Iran’s nuclear facilities as wrong, saying that all these centers are working under the monitor and standards of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Salhi also referred to the issue of the Arak Reactor pipes, pointing out that Tehran did not buy them secretly. "We did this as a precautionary measure before the talks leading to inking JCPOA. We had bought these pipes before the deal came into effect. And we informed the other party that we have additional pipes for using in Arak Reactor in case of any breach in agreement."