At 3.67 percent, uranium enrichment is the end for Iran – that’s what the nuclear deal says. The most recent enrichment to 20 percent is a clear violation. Nevertheless, the EU is not moving away from the agreement.
Despite Iran’s controversial enrichment of uranium, the EU wants to adhere to the international nuclear agreement. Despite this “unfortunate” step, “important elements” of the treaty are still in force, said a spokesman for the EU’s Foreign Service. “We will redouble our efforts to maintain the agreement and return to its full implementation by all parties.”
According to its own statements, Iran had previously achieved the announced uranium enrichment of 20 percent. The enrichment process was therefore started on Monday in the underground Fordo nuclear facility around 180 kilometers south of Tehran. This has also been confirmed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The move represents a clear violation of the international nuclear agreement, which provides for a limit of 3.67 percent. “We take note of (this) with great concern,” said the EU spokesman. A deviation from the nuclear agreement will have “serious consequences” for the desired nuclear non-proliferation. Nevertheless, “the strict control and transparency requirements” would continue to be observed.
Adopted by parliament
The Iranian parliament had legally passed the production and storage of “at least 120 kilograms of 20 percent enriched uranium per year”. The government in Tehran had already informed the IAEA of this project in December. She did not refuse the very strict controls of the IAEA provided for in the nuclear agreement.
The 2015 international nuclear deal aims to ensure that Iran does not acquire the capabilities to build an atomic bomb. However, US President Donald Trump unilaterally terminated the agreement he considered inadequate in May 2018 and then put new sanctions against Tehran into force.
From 2019, Iran ignored its original obligations and enriched uranium to 4.5 percent so far. Weapons-grade uranium must be enriched up to 90 percent.