Iran renews uranium enrichment at Fordow

by WorldTribune Staff, November 7, 2019

The European Union said it is becoming “increasingly difficult” to preserve the Iran nuclear deal as Teheran continues to scale back its commitments under the deal.

The EU on Nov. 5 criticized Iran’s announcement that it would resume uranium enrichment at its underground facility at Fordow.

Iran’s Fordow nuclear facility. / Wikimedia Commons

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani declared that Iran would move forward quickly with gas injection at the Fordow Fuel Enrichment plant outside of the city of Qom, beginning on Nov. 6. A total of 1,044 centrifuges will be injected with uranium gas.

Iran on Nov. 5 also announced that it would enrich uranium to 5 percent at the Fordow nuclear facility, in a further violation of the 2015 nuclear deal, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), it signed with world powers.

“We are concerned by President Rouhani’s announcement today to further reduce Iran’s commitments under the JCPOA,” EU spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic told reporters, according to AFP.

“We urge Iran to reverse all activities that are inconsistent with its commitments under the JCPOA and to refrain from any further measures that would undermine the preservation and full implementation of the nuclear deal,” Kocijancic added.

Related: U.S. sanctions 9 key Iranians as regime doubles operations of advanced centrifuges, Nov. 5, 2019

Despite Iran’s recent increase in nuclear activity, the EU still said it is committed to the deal but warned that its ongoing commitment will depend on “full compliance” from Iran.

“High Representative Federica Mogherini said herself recently it is becoming increasingly difficult to preserve the JCPOA,” Kocijancic said.

President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the 2015 deal last May. Since that time, his administration has ramped up sanctions which have devastated the Islamic Republic.

In response to the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal and its imposition of sanctions, Iran has gradually scaled back its compliance with the 2015 deal.

The three European parties to the accord – France, Britain and Germany – along with the EU diplomatic service have tried to keep Iran in the deal despite the U.S. sanctions.

The chief of Iran’s atomic agency recently blamed Europe for his country scaling back its commitments under the deal, saying their broken promises gave the Islamic Republic little choice.

EU foreign ministers will discuss the nuclear crisis along with the broader tensions in the Gulf at a regular meeting in Brussels on Monday, though no decision or formal statement on the matter is expected, according to a report by AFP.

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