Wednesday, 11 Dec 2019 - 13 of Kislev, 5780

EU Foreign Ministers after UN watchdog reveals it detected uranium particles at Iranian nuclear site : ‘Increasingly challenging to preserve the 2015 nuclear deal’

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On Monday, EU Foreign Ministers discussed the Iranian issue during a meeting in Brussels. EU  foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini urged Iran to comply with nuclear accord or face action.

According to Mogherini, EU Foreign Ministers did not discuss sanctions during their meeting, but in her words it is becoming “more and more difficult” to save the accord.

BRUSSELS—France, Germany, the UK and the EU on Monday urged Iran to stand by the 2015 nuclear deal commitments after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA),the UN’s nuclear watchdog,  said in a new report that it detected uranium particles at an undeclared site in Iran, revealing even more cracks in the accord.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said last week that Iran would resume uranium enrichment at an underground plant south of Tehran.

According to the IAEA report, Tehran currently stores almost twice as much low-enriched uranium as the agreement of the 2015 nuclear accord allows, with its stockpile having reached the equivalent of 551 kilograms, as opposed to the 300-kilogram limit.

The report  concluded that Iran has prepared a new facility for testing enrichment centrifuges – effectively violating the provisions laid down in the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA).

The IAEA said in the report its nuclear inspectors had “detected natural uranium particles of anthropogenic origin at a location in Iran not declared to the agency,” which according to the watchdog are likely to be the product of uranium which has been mined and undergone initial processing, but not enriched.

“It is essential that Iran continues its cooperation with the Authority to resolve this issue as soon as possible,” the IAEA stated.

The Europeans had repeatedly stated their commitment to abide by the agreement and endeavour to allow European companies to maintain business relations with Iran.

On Monday, EU Foreign Ministers discussed the Iranian issue during a meeting in Brussels.

EU  foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini urged Iran to comply with nuclear accord or face action.

Under the terms of the nuclear accord, if any of the European signatories believes Iran has violated it, they can trigger a dispute resolution process that could lead to an UN Security Council meeting within 65 days, announcing a so-called “snapback” of global UN sanctions on Tehran.

According to Mogherini, EU Foreign Ministers did not discuss sanctions during their meeting, but in her words it is becoming “more and more difficult” to save the accord.

Upon arrival at the meeting in Brussels, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas suggested reinstating international sanctions on Iran.

Iran must return to its commitments, “otherwise we will reserve the right to use all mechanisms specified in the deal” for sanctions to be reimposed, Maas said, announcing he would meet with French and British counterparts in Paris on Monday afternoon, the so-called E3, to coordinate future steps.

 

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