Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Wednesday endorsed the nuclear deal the state's government has negotiated with the US and other world powers, but said Iran would not start to comply with key provisions in the deal until the UN's nuclear watchdog abandoned its investigation into whether Tehran had violated the international nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
In a letter to President Hassan Rouhani published on Khamenei's official website, Iran's highest authority ordered the July 14 nuclear deal to be implemented, subject to certain conditions that the Iranian parliament stipulated in a law passed last week.
Those conditions include that inspectors from the UN's nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), immediately resolve its case indicating that Iran had previously engaged in research aimed at developing a nuclear weapon.
The IAEA has been collecting samples from Iran's military sites — a task that wrapped up earlier this month. The body is expected to announce its conclusions in a Possible Military Dimensions (PMD) file issued by mid-December.
Until the UN's inquiry is shut down, Iran will delay sending its stockpile of enriched uranium abroad and reconfiguring a heavy water reactor to ensure it cannot make bomb-grade plutonium, Khamenei wrote in the letter.
"Any action regarding Arak (reactor) and dispatching uranium abroad... will take place after the PMD (possible military dimensions) file is closed," he wrote.
The US, China, Russia, Britain, and Germany reached a deal with Tehran in mid-July intended to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon in exchange for a lifting of sanctions. Iran has repeatedly denied engaging in research aimed at developing a nuclear weapon.
Critics say the nuclear deal will empower Iran economically to increase its support of militant groups in the region.
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