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EU Warns Iran Over Uranium Enrichment

January 7, 2021
Dana Saqbani
2 min read
EU Warns Iran Over Uranium Enrichment

On 6 January, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany warned Iran that its decision to resume uranium enrichment "threatens to undermine the revival of diplomacy with the United States."

The three countries urged Iran to cease uranium enrichment with a 20 percent purity "without delay," scale back its enrichment program to the limits agreed as part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and refrain from taking any other escalatory steps with regard to its nuclear program.

A European diplomat told Reuters that Iran's "tactical" goal was to put pressure on the incoming administration of Joe Biden in the United States, adding that the UK, France, and Germany are waiting for the new US administration to assess the situation.

On January 4, the Islamic Republic stated that it had resumed the production of enriched uranium at a level of 20 percent in an underground facility following a decision voted by and agreed on in the Iranian parliament.

On January 5, the European Union said it would increase its efforts to save the Iran nuclear deal despite what it described as a "significant breach" by Tehran of the commitments made in the 2015 agreement by having started to enrich uranium to new levels.

On January 6, Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh called for there to be no interference in its nuclear and missile program, according to the semi-official Tasnim News Agency.

On the same day, Iranian president Hassan Rouhani also confirmed that his country would fulfill all of its obligations under the JCPOA "if the US administration also abides by its commitments," the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

Iranian parliament passed a law in December that it would increase uranium enrichment and put a stop to United Nations inspections of its nuclear sites in response to the killing of the nuclear physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, which it accused Israel of carrying out.

Europe's warnings over Iran's recent moves coincided with statements from the Iranian ambassador in Vienna, Gharib Abadi, concerning the repercussions of Israel's nuclear weapons development program, while also calling on the International Atomic Energy Agency "to play a serious role in addressing regional and international concerns," according to Tasnim news agency.

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