Saturday, 19 Oct 2019 - 20 of Tishri, 5780

France, Germany, the United Kingdom and EU’s foreign policy express’deep concern’ at Iran’s nuclear activities of enriching uranium at Natanz

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The Vienna-based IAEA has confirmed in its extraordinary report of 8 September that advanced centrifuges have been installed or are being installed in Natanz. The watchdog said has violated the terms of the agreement on a number of instances since July. ‘’It began by incrementally increasing its stockpiles of enriched uranium and refining these to a greater purity than allowed under the terms of the agreement — though far below levels needed to produce a nuclear weapon,’’ the IAEA said.

After the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) , the UN’s nuclear watchdog,  confirmed that advanced centrifuges had been installed at a nuclear plant in Iran, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini expressed their ‘’deep concern’’ over Tehra’s actions which are, they said, ‘’in contradiction with its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.’’ (JCPOA).

The JCPOA  was agreed in July 2015. Iran and the United States, Germany, Britain, China, Russia and France (known as the P5+1), as well as the European Union, agreed to lift crippling international sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for Tehran dismantling it. However, President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the agreement in May 2018.

The Vienna-based IAEA has confirmed in its extraordinary report of 8 September that advanced centrifuges have been installed or are being installed in Natanz. The watchdog said has violated the terms of the agreement on a number of instances since July. ‘’It began by incrementally increasing its stockpiles of enriched uranium and refining these to a greater purity than allowed under the terms of the agreement — though far below levels needed to produce a nuclear weapon,’’ the IAEA said.

France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the EU foreign policy chief said in a statement that they ‘’are concerned by the risk that the JCPOA further unravels under the strain of sanctions imposed by the United States since May 2018 and following Iran’s decisions to no longer implement several of the central provisions of the agreement.’’

They said they believe the latest developments ‘’underline the need for diplomatic efforts towards de-escalation and resumption of dialogue, which they fully support.’’

While continuing to support the JCPOA, the three ‘’strongly urge Iran to reverse all activities that are inconsistent with its commitments under the JCPOA and to refrain from any further steps.’’

They called on Iran ‘’to cooperate with the IAEA on all relevant matters, including safeguards issues.’’

They reiterated their support for the work of the IAEA and their ‘’confidence in the impartial and independent way in which it monitors and verifies Iran’s nuclear commitments.’’

The EU has been desperately trying to save the Iran nuclear deal since the US withdrew from it last year. After the US reimposed sanctions on Iran, Tehran began to pull out of part of the agreement.

Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Iran destroyed a facility this summer where it had conducted secret nuclear-weapons experiments.

In a televised address to the nation in Jerusalem in both Hebrew and English, Netanyahu showed satellite images of the alleged facility in central Iran, south of the city of Isfahan, from late June and late July that he said demonstrated that Iran destroyed the site. He said Iran did so after officials there learned that Israel had discovered it.

“They just wiped it out,”  Netanyahu said on Monday, showing photos on a projector screen.

He said the intelligence was gathered from documents discovered in an Israeli raid of a Tehran warehouse last year.

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