Monday, November 16, 2015

Iran Begins Dismantling 10,000 Centrifuges

Amid Growing Tensions in Iran over JCPOA and its Aftermath
The director of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), Ali Akbar Salehi, said today in Tehran that the country has begun dismantling some 10,000 centrifuges in the Natanz uranium enrichment facility. The nuclear agreement, JCPOA, requires Iran to dismantle most of its 19,000 centrifuges.

Salehi said some members of Iranian Majlis were concerned by the speed of process. But he added the quicker the centrifuges were disassembled the sooner sanctions will be lifted.

Meantime, tensions between the Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, and the hardliners over the JCPOA and its aftermath are growing. Some hardliners opposed the accord as a submission to foreign powers, especially the United States. Many hardliners believe that Rouhani wants to parlay the nuclear accord into the start of new relations with the U.S. and an eventual normalization of relations between the two countries, a prospect strongly opposed by the hardliners who remain America’s bitter enemies.

The political struggle post-JCPOA has produced anti-U.S. rhetoric and a surge in arrests of the moderates, including journalists, by the IRGC Intelligence Organization, run by the hardliner Hossein Taeb, who reports directly to the supreme leader. The tensions between the moderates and hardliners are expected to grow even further as we approach the all-important elections for the Majlis and the Assembly of Experts, scheduled for late February.

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