Three European powers alerts Iran on uranium metal work

On Saturday, three European powers alerted Iran against beginning work on uranium metal-based fuel for a research reactor, and said that this work violated the 2015 nuclear agreement and affirming that it had no civilian use but just severe military implications.

On Wednesday, the UN nuclear watchdog and Tehran stated that Iran had begun the work, in the recent violation of its nuclear agreement with six major powers as the country presses for a lifting of US sanctions.

France, Britain and Germany stated in a joint statement: We strongly encourage Iran to end this activity and return to full compliance with its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (Iran nuclear deal) without delay, if it is serious about preserving this agreement.

Indeed, Iran has been expediting its violations of the agreement during the last two months. Some of those moves were the result of a law passed in response to the murder of its top nuclear scientist in November that Tehran has blamed on its arch-foe Israel. The steps are also considered as a part of a revenge operation that Tehran begun in 2019 in response to US President Donald Trump’s 2018 withdrawal from the agreement and his reimposition of US sanctions that the agreement lifted in exchange for restrictions on Iran’s nuclear activities.

Besides, the three powers that still in the deal with China and Russia declared that they were deeply concerned and that Iran’s production of uranium metal had no civilian credibility and had potentially serious military implications. The nuclear pact imposes a 15-year prohibition on Iran producing or acquiring uranium metal, which is a sensitive material that could be used in the formation of a nuclear bomb.

The Iranian violations increase the pressure on US President-elect Joe Biden, who start his function next week and has promised to return the United States to the agreement if Iran first recommences complete compliance. But, Iran wants Washington to lift sanctions first.

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