Daily Management Review

Europe Concerned Over Iran Move To Breach Uranium Enrichment Cap


Europe Concerned Over Iran Move To Breach Uranium Enrichment Cap
The latest decision of Iran to violate the 2015 nuclear accord by exceeding the allowable levels of uranium enrichment according to accord has not been taken well by European powers who have urged Tehran to reverse that decision. The European powers, some of which were also signatories to the 2015 Iran nuclear accord however did not go ahead to threaten to impose sanctions on Tehran.
The decision of Iran top breach the uranium enrichment restrictions has caused concerns, said the U.K. and the European Union and added that the next steps are being discussed among the other parties to the 2015 accord.
Analysts and experts believe that the most recent announcement by Iran has kept up the pressure on the European Union to do something about the sanctions imposed by the United States on Tehran after US president Donald Trump walked away from the 2015 Iran deal about a year ago. Iranian officials however said that further measures to scale back Iran’s commitment would be undertaken every 60 days and has kept the door for negotiations open to renegotiate the 2015 deal, reported the media.
“The fact that the Europeans haven’t yet managed to meet our demands doesn’t mean that diplomatic consultations have been closed,” Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said. “On the condition that sanctions are removed, there is no barrier to the presence of the Americans in the negotiations.”
Iran has said 60 days ago that it would forsake some of the commitments that it had made in the nuclear deal if a July 7 deadline to reduce some of the sanctions that include punitive action for purchase of Iranian oil was not met by the EU and other European powers. The cap on its low-grade uranium stockpile was exceeded by Tehran about a week ago. In its most recent announcement, Iran said that it would break the 3.67% cap on purifying uranium as agreed under the 2015 agreement. Tehran however did not say anything about whether its efforts would get close to enriching uranium to weapons-grade levels.
“While the U.K. remains fully committed to the deal, Iran must immediately stop and reverse all activities inconsistent with its obligations,” the British Foreign Office said in a statement. It is “extremely concerned” at Iran’s announcement, The European Union said, and added that it “strongly” urged it to “stop and reverse all activities inconsistent with its commitments” under the agreement.
Weapons grade uranium has to be enriched to 90 per cent even though lower levels of enrichment are also considered to be important achievement. Inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency stationed in Iran would verify the development and report back to its headquarters, the agency said.
While signals that imposition of penalties on Iran is not something that would be done with in the short term have been offered by European leaders, analysts and experts say that the leaders would put under more pressure from the Trump administration if more of the 2015 deal commitments are breached by Iran.