Iranian Vice President and nuclear chief Mohammad Eslami said Tuesday that Tehran can slow its uranium enrichment program depending on U.S. proposals to rebuild a stalled international deal, with the nation also keen to restart its nuclear safety cooperation with Japan.

Under the 2015 pact struck with six major powers -- Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia, and the United States -- Iran agreed to curb its nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of sanctions.

But former U.S. President Donald Trump criticized the deal struck by his predecessor as flawed and pulled Washington out of it in 2018. Iran countered the move by expanding the capacity and purity of its uranium enrichment beyond the limits set in the deal.

Eslami, who heads the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, told Kyodo News that the country is committed to the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers but does not want to implement it unilaterally.

Iranian Vice President and nuclear chief Mohammad Eslami is pictured during an interview with Kyodo News in Tehran on July 25, 2023. (Kyodo)

If the United States and the other signatories abide by their commitments, Tehran will downgrade the nuclear enrichment purity, he said, without elaborating further.

Eslami also said there are opportunities for mutual nuclear cooperation with Japan, stressing Tokyo can benefit from Iran's mature and reliable nuclear industry.

Iran plans to construct six new power plants to produce nuclear electricity and if Japan has the willingness in this field, "we will definitely provide an opportunity for their presence in Iran's nuclear industry," he said.

Japan formerly trained Iranian scientists in a program aimed at developing nuclear safety, but the program was stopped after the United States imposed sanctions on Iran for its nuclear development program.

After the International Atomic Energy Organization adopted a resolution against Iran's expanded nuclear activity last November, Tehran announced the increase of uranium enrichment purity to 60 percent.

The nuclear deal limited Tehran's uranium stockpile to 300 kilograms and the enrichment purity to 3.67 percent -- enough to fuel a nuclear power plant.

Iran's relationship with the U.N. nuclear watchdog is based on the so-called safeguards agreement and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and Iran's nuclear activity is intensely monitored by the agency, Eslami said.

Iran will not implement the nuclear deal unilaterally and will not accept "illogical and extremist" demands, he said.

Regarding past disputes with the IAEA over "alleged locations" where Iran conducts suspected secret activities related to nuclear development, Eslami said, "There is no undeclared or suspicious (nuclear) location in Iran. We will try to resolve all ambiguities of the IAEA."

The IAEA confirmed Iran has no illegal or undeclared nuclear activities at two such sites but needs to examine further. Eslami said Iran has informed the agency that it is ready to cooperate and review the findings together.

The IAEA repeatedly asked Iran to improve its transparency during probes while Iran has consistently denied any ambition to develop nuclear weapons, insisting its activities are peaceful.

There are no problems in Iran's cooperation with the IAEA and it is "on the right track," he said, adding, however, political pressure has misled the agency about how to handle Iran's nuclear issues.

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