News : Nuclear
- Published: Tuesday, 09 July 2019
By INU Staff
INU- Iran breached the 2015 nuclear deal for the second time in days on Monday by enriching uranium to 4.5%, as confirmed by the International Atomic Energy Agency, which is enough to help power Iran’s Bushehr power plant.
Behrouz Kamalvandi, a representative of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, admitted that this is an attempt to put pressure on the nuclear deal signatories, especially the EU, to help Iran evade US sanctions.
He also said that Iran may soon consider going to 20% enrichment or higher if they do not get the help they want from the deal partners, which is concerning because that’s only a short technical step away from reaching weapons-grade levels. He further suggested that Iran may start using new or more centrifuges that are limited by the deal.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi gave Europe until September 5 to save the nuclear deal, although senior Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri gave until September 7. Donald Trump pulled the US out of the deal in 2018, citing Iranian noncompliance.
This news about the breach came roughly a week after Iran admitted to breaking the deal’s 300-kilogram stockpile limit on low-enriched uranium.
This worries experts because higher enrichment and a growing stockpile will shorten the one-year timeframe that Iran would need to create a nuclear weapon. There are real fears that this could lead to war with Iran or the Regime obtaining a nuclear weapon.
The EU said that they “strongly urge Iran to stop and reverse all activities that are inconsistent with the commitments" it had made under the international agreement.
On Sunday, amid increasing threats by Iran, Trump warned that “Iran better be careful” and told reporters that “Iran’s doing a lot of bad things”, although he did not specify what actions the US could take. The US has already sent an aircraft carrier and roughly 2,500 to the Gulf.
While Vice President Mike Pence told a pro-Israel Christian organization in Washington on Monday that the US will not abandon its maximum pressure campaign against Iran and “will never allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon”.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who also spoke at the conference, said that America has implemented the “strongest pressure campaign in history against the Iranian regime “and we are not done”.
Meanwhile, at the White House Trump spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron about Iran’s threats.
A White House spokesman said in a statement: “They discussed ongoing efforts to ensure that Iran does not obtain a nuclear weapon and to end Iran’s destabilizing behaviour in the Middle East.”