The latest IAEA report confirms that Iran has “started the steps necessary for the production of enriched uranium metal.”
The Europeans expressed their “big concernAfter the latest IAEA report which highlights Iran’s gradual withdrawal from the international agreement on its nuclear program and its progress towards the production of uranium metal.
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In a joint statement, the Foreign Ministers of France, Germany and the United Kingdom (E3) said their “great concern of the latest IAEA report which confirms that Iran has started the steps necessary for the production of enriched uranium metal. This constitutes a serious violationBy Tehran for its commitments under the international agreement on its nuclear program (JCPOA). The Europeans say this jeopardizes a US return to the deal, which is currently being negotiated in Vienna.
Iran intends to “produce uranium metal with an enrichment rate of 20%», Indicated Tuesday the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), when the negotiations to try to save the nuclear agreement are slipping. Tehran, which has gradually freed itself from its commitments since the United States withdrew from this agreement in 2018, began in February the production of uranium metal for research purposes, a sensitive subject because this material can be used in the manufacture of nuclear weapons.
«Iran has no credible civilian need to continue uranium metal production or R&D, which is a key step in the development of a nuclear weapon.“, Say the Europeans in their press release. “With these latest steps, Iran poses a risk to the possibility of a successful conclusion of the Vienna talks”For a return to the JCPOA, according to E3.
For their part, the United States ruled on Tuesday “disturbing“That Iran wishes to free itself a little more from its nuclear commitments and called on it to put an end to its”provocations». «It is worrying that Iran has chosen to escalate (…) with experiences that are relevant to the search for nuclear weaponsState Department spokesman Ned Price said. “We continue to call on Iran to end these provocations“, he added. “We continue to believe that the diplomatic channel is the best and the most effective to ensure that Iran does not acquire nuclear weapons”, estimated the spokesman for American diplomacy. But “Such provocations will not give Iran any leverage in the discussions”, he added. “We continue to call on Iran to put an end to this escalation, to come back to Vienna for real negotiations, and to be ready to finish the work we started in April.”
The Vienna talks, which started in April, have stalled. “They won’t resume this week“, According to a European diplomat contacted by AFP who says he has no visibility, while the new Iranian president, Ebrahim Raïssi, takes office in August after his presidential victory in June. These negotiations aim to bring the United States back into the fold of the agreement concluded in 2015 in the Austrian capital.
The “common global action plan“(JCPOA, according to its English acronym) offered Tehran a reduction in Western and UN sanctions in exchange for its commitment never to acquire atomic weapons and a drastic reduction in its nuclear program, placed under strict control. of ONU. But this pact was torpedoed in 2018 by the decision of former US President Donald Trump to withdraw from it and reinstate American punitive measures. In response, Iran has renounced most of its obligations. The arrival of the new US President Joe Biden has opened the negotiation process underway in Vienna.