UN Confirms Iran Enriching Uranium in Excess of Nuclear Deal Limit

 

WASHINGTON — The United Nations’ atomic energy agency has confirmed Iran has surpassed the uranium enrichment limits spelled out in the 2015 nuclear deal.

A sign marks the building of the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, in Vienna, Austria, March 5, 2013.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said its inspectors verified Monday that Iran has surpassed the 3.67% enrichment limit set in the accord, aimed at restraining Tehran’s ability to develop nuclear weapons in return for sanctions relief.

It did not specify by how much Iran exceeded the limit, but the Associated Press quotes a spokesman for Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization on Monday as saying Tehran had enriched uranium to “around 4.5%” purity.

Iran earlier said it could enrich uranium to 20% as it backs away from its commitments under the nuclear deal.

Uranium enriched to 5% is sufficient to produce fuel for nuclear power plants, but still far below the 90% needed for building a nuclear weapon.

 FILE - President Hassan Rouhani listens to explanations of  nuclear achievements in Tehran, Iran, April 9, 2018. Iran has broken the limit set on its stockpile of low-enriched uranium by the 2015 nuclear deal, and will raise its enrichment of uranium.
FILE – President Hassan Rouhani listens as he is being updated on Iran’s nuclear achievements, in Tehran, Iran, April 9, 2018.

U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the nuclear deal last year and imposed tough sanctions on Iran.

Tehran has already pulled out of parts of the agreement and is threatening to move further and further away from it unless the remaining parties — Britain, China, France, Germany, and Russia — provide economic relief from the crippling U.S. sanctions.

WATCH: US warns Iran

 

‘Extremely concerned’

The European Union said it was “extremely concerned” about Tehran’s action.

“We strongly urge Iran to stop and reverse all activities that are inconsistent with the commitments” it had made under the international agreement, the EU said in Brussels.

Russia said it is concerned about Iranian action. But Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it had warned that Trump’s withdrawal from the pact would have negative consequences for global security.

Trump has warned Iran that it “better be careful.”

National Security Adviser John Bolton added Monday that the U.S. “will continue to increase the pressure on the Iranian regime until it abandons its nuclear weapons program and ends its violent activities across the Middle East, including conducting and supporting terrorism around the world.”

Tehran long has insisted that its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes.

Iran’s leverage

Columbia University researcher Richard Nephew, who was part of a U.S. team negotiating with Iran under Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama, said Tehran’s latest breaking of a nuclear deal commitment does not mean it is racing toward developing a nuclear weapon.

“What Iran is doing is going to shorten the timeline [for nuclear weapon development] by a measure of days, and in time, a measure of weeks,” Nephew told VOA Persian in a Monday interview. “But Iran still is a year away from being able to produce a nuclear weapon and will [remain so] for some time to come.”

But retired U.S. Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel Dakota Wood, a senior defense researcher at the conservative Heritage Foundation in Washington, said Iran’s latest moves demonstrate the viability of its perceived nuclear weapons program.

“Because [Iran] didn’t have to dismantle any of its infrastructures under the [2015] deal, it can quickly continue exceeding the [low-enriched uranium] quantity limit of 300 kilograms and then further enrich [to higher purity],” Wood said in a separate VOA Persian interview Monday. “So going to 4.5% purity, being on a track to 20% and then ultimately to 90% if they decide to go down that path, really reveals the organic, inherent capabilities [Iran] has in its nuclear program.”

Both Wood and Nephew said they believe Iran is using its breaches of the nuclear deal as leverage to win diplomatic concessions from the West.

 

 

Source: https://www.voanews.com/middle-east/un-confirms-iran-enriching-uranium-excess-nuclear-deal-limit#

 

About Kurdish American Committee for Democracy and Human Rights in Iran(kacdhri)

Kurdish American Committee for Democracy and Human Rights in Iran On November 2005 a group of Kurdish-Americans decided to organize a committee to work on Kurdish issues in Iran and to build a relationship among Iranian opposition groups toward democracy in Iran. The following points clarified a need for organizing and helping the Iranian political parties to come together and to start coordinating their efforts We considered that: 1. Iran is not a homogeneous ethnic society and formidable Iranian opposition parties are aligned with separate ethnic groups. 2. Persians are a minority who has been the dominating power since the end of WWI and all other minority groups have revolted at some point during the 20th century and continue to do so in this century. 3.Kurdish struggle for human rights and self-determination is the longest and most mature democratic national movement in Iran, the only one to have developed a constitution for a democratic society (The Republic of Kurdistan, Mahabad 1947). 4. We considered that any political opposition to the Islamic regime without the involvement of Turkmans, Baluoch, Azeri, Kurd and Arab groups would fail. 5. Almost all Persian nationalist parties have vowed to side with the Islamic regime to “fight” minority groups and democracy. Based on the above ideas and considerations, Kurdish Americans from Iran organized a Committee for Democracy on December 2005. “Kurdish American Committee for democracy in Iran” had a sense of obligation to take an active role in organizing the Iranian opposition groups by:

Posted on July 8, 2019, in English. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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