Defense Politics

UK, Germany, France condemn Iran over uranium metal production

The leading European powers, the ‘E3’ group United Kingdom, France, and Germany condemned Iran over uranium metal production, which they said was in breach of commitments made by the Iranian government to the international community. 

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The United Nations’ nuclear watchdog said earlier this week that Tehran had followed through on his plan to make uranium metal after Iran had alarmed Western nations with its aim to produce the material with which the core of nuclear weapons can be made. 

“We strongly urge Iran to halt these activities without delay and not to take any new non-compliant steps on its nuclear program. In escalating its non-compliance, Iran is undermining the opportunity for renewed diplomacy to fully realize the objectives of the JCPOA,” said the ‘E3’ trio in a statement. 

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Iran made a small quantity of uranium metal to pressurize the newly elected President Joe Biden’s administration, according to analysts. Reported by Iran International

Further said in a report, the material is mainly useful in the core of nuclear bombs, as Tehran has been enriching uranium to 20 percent, cutting the lead time for weapons-grade enrichment of 90 percent. 

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Joe Biden’s administration has already signaled to revive the nuclear deal after the former US President Donald Trump walked out of the agreement in 2018 and put sanctions on Iran by saying the deal was ‘decaying and rotten’. In this regard, the US is consulting with its allies and partners to chart a unified course for diplomacy with Tehran. 

The European leading countries, the ‘E3’ trio group who are signatories to the deal said that Iran’s move to produce uranium metal is a violation of the agreement and it endangers the chance to fully revive the deal, which aims to reduce international sanctions on Iran. 

Iran wants the United States to lift sanctions imposed by former President Trump’s administration that has dragged its economy into a deep recession by reducing much-needed oil export revenues. 

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World powers in 2015 have made the nuclear agreement known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with the Iranian government to limit its nuclear activities. 

According to the JCPOA, Iran must reduce its uranium enrichment to 4 percent and only use it for peaceful purposes. Under the deal, Iran must not produce or acquire uranium metal for 15 years. 

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a statement that he was disappointed with Joe Biden’s administration over the lack of progress to date. 

“We have still not seen any goodwill from the new government”, President Hassan Rouhani told state television. 

Analysis:

The US wants to re-enter into nuclear accord but is negotiating with other signatories of the nuclear deal to decide how to deal with Iran collectively. 

Iran on the other hand pressured Biden’s administration to move fast and lift the sanctions and join the accord, with the White House insisting Iran must move to full compliance before the United States return to the deal, but Tehran wanted no preconditions.

Sources:

  1. Iran International
  2. Al Jazeera

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