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New Iranian Plans to ‘Escalate’ Uranium Enrichment Draw ‘Grave Concern’ From France, Germany, UK Foreign Ministers

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

Iranian flag flies in front of the UN office building, housing IAEA headquarters, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Vienna, Austria, May 24, 2021. Photo: REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

The foreign ministers of France, Germany and the United Kingdom expressed “grave concern” on Tuesday over revelations from the UN nuclear watchdog that Iran has pledged further violations of limits on uranium enrichment.

The International Atomic Energy Agency statement (IAEA) said Tuesday that Iran had given notice of new steps to produce uranium metal enriched to up to 20% purity for reactor fuel — a breach of the 2015 nuclear deal now the subject of ongoing talks in Vienna.

In a joint statement, the officials called it a “serious violation of Iran’s commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA),” referring to the deal.

“Iran has no credible civilian need for uranium metal R&D and production, which are a key step in the development of a nuclear weapon,” the statement said. “This further step in Iran’s escalation of its nuclear violations is all the more concerning at a time when no date has been set for the continuation of the negotiations in Vienna on a return to the JCPoA.”

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“We strongly urge Iran to halt all activities in violation of the JCPOA, without delay and to return to the negotiations in Vienna with a view to bringing them to a swift conclusion,” the group of foreign ministers continued. “We have repeatedly stressed that time is on no-one’s side. With its latest steps, Iran is threatening a successful outcome to the Vienna talks despite the progress achieved in six rounds of negotiations to date.”

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