BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany said on Wednesday that Iran’s acceleration of uranium enrichment to weapons-grade levels violated restrictions under the 2015 nuclear deal, and urged Tehran to return to negotiations with a constructive approach.
A spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry said in a press conference: “Iran does not have an acceptable civil justification for these steps. Instead, you gain military knowledge and skills.”
The German Foreign Ministry added: “We urge Iran to return to the negotiating table with a constructive position.”
This comes as the International Atomic Energy Agency said on Tuesday in a report that Iran had put in place a new mechanism to speed up production of 60 percent enriched uranium.
In his latest report, the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi, told member states that Tehran “has come up with a new operational mechanism from For the production of 60% enriched uranium at the Natanz facility.
Natanz nuclear facility in Iran
For its part, the Iranian Foreign Ministry insisted Tuesday-Wednesday night that Iran’s nuclear activities are peaceful and in line with international obligations.
“All nuclear programs and measures of the Islamic Republic of Iran are in full compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and Iran’s obligations under the safeguards agreement, and these programs have been implemented under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency and with prior notice,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said in a statement.
The UN agency had made it clear that the new mechanism is based on the use of “two sets of centrifuges” instead of one if we exclude an initial test for a few days conducted in April, adding that Tehran has already launched this mechanism.
According to Grossi’s report, Iran has produced 200 grams of enriched metallic uranium after it announced earlier this year that it had started producing metallic uranium for research purposes, which is a sensitive topic because this material can be used in the manufacture of nuclear weapons.
In April, Iran began enriching uranium by 60%, compared to 20% previously, which is much higher than the 3.67% set in the international agreement on the Iranian nuclear program.
Equipment at a uranium enrichment facility in Iran
This agreement made it possible to lift part of the international sanctions imposed on Iran in return for its commitment not to acquire nuclear weapons. But after the United States withdrew from the agreement under President Donald Trump in 2018, US sanctions were reimposed.
Since 2019, Tehran has gradually freed itself from the commitments it made to limit its nuclear program.
Zadeh continued, “It is obvious that Iran will pursue its purely peaceful nuclear program on the basis of its needs and sovereign decisions, and within the framework of its commitments in the Safeguards Agreement, unless the full and unconditional implementation of the nuclear agreement is resumed by the United States and other parties to the agreement.”
US President Joe Biden seeks to return to the agreement, and it has begun Indirect talks on this matter in Vienna In April, European mediation, but the last session on June 20 did not lead to any tangible progress.
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