Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has threatened the U.S. with unveiling more advanced centrifuges after Washington designated Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) as a “terrorist organization”.
Speaking on April 9 at the ceremony for 13th National Day of Nuclear Technology in Iran, Rouhani addressed Washington, saying, "You were afraid of IR1 centrifuges, today we unveiled IR6, and if you continue to walk down this road, you will see cascades of IR8 in the near future,"
Rouhani went even further, highlighting the threat by praising Tehran's missile power. "If you want to limit Iran’s military power, you know that we have developed missiles since last year that you wouldn’t even imagine," he said.
Directly attacking President Donald Trump and his administration with harsh words, Rouhani asserted, “Today, nobody in Iran supports your treacherous, outrageous government, and if you wanted to stop the Iranian government and state from pursuing its goals by [imposing] sanctions, and dominate Iran and the region, be sure that you are mistaken.”
The West has repeatedly raised its concerns over the continuation of the Islamic Republic's nuclear program, including the installation of more advanced centrifuges.
Led by the U.S., Western countries have always been worried that the Islamic Republic might ultimately succeed in developing nuclear weapons and threaten their allies in the region.
To stop Tehran's nuclear program, Washington along with the United Nations imposed sanctions on Tehran that led to Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers, signed in 2015, and implemented a year after.
Nevertheless, President Donald Trump withdrew from JCPOA in May 2018 and reimposed unilateral sanctions on the Islamic Republic hoping to turn the tables against Tehran.
The sanctions have created major economic and financial problems for the clerical regime, which faces public anger over worsening living conditions.
Despite efforts made by three European countries still committed to JCPOA (France, Germany, and the U.K.), the fate of the deal has been in limbo since Washington's withdrawal. Recently, the three powers have been showing more toughness toward Tehran by raising the ballistic missile issue with the UN General Secretary.
During his speech on Tuesday, Rouhani also threatened Tehran's western partners in JCPOA by noting, “One of the 5+1 members (USA) violated all its commitments and proved that it is not trustworthy. Therefore, we tell the remaining members that they have to focus on their responsibilities. We have waited and will continue to do so, but our patience has a threshold that if reached, the Iranian government and state may take steps, so think about that day."
In the meantime, Rouhani did not miss the chance to dismiss the impact of U.S. sanctions on Iran. "When announcing sanctions against the Iranian nation, you claimed that Iran would be devastated by summer, extending it to Christmas, to February 11, and then the new year. You were, and are always, gravely mistaken", Rouhani said.
Meanwhile, the head of Iran Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO), Ali Akbar Salehi praised Iran for "making headways in the nuclear industry."
Speaking at the same ceremony attended by Rouhani in Tehran, Salehi boasted of Iran's "114 new nuclear achievements, ready for exploitation."
While insisting on Tehran's firm commitment to JCPOA, Salehi announced, "Iran is continuing to produce and upgrade centrifuges in the framework of JCPOA."
Immediately after the withdrawal of Washington from JCPOA, the Islamic Republic Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued a proclamation, ordering the IAEO to pave the way for the installment of 190,000 SWUs [separative work units] for the enrichment of uranium, in the framework of JCPOA.