TEHRAN – July 9, 2019 – Iran has exceeded the enrichment level envisaged by the nuclear deal, a spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of the country, Behruz Kamalvandi, said.
“This morning we overcame the border of uranium enrichment at 4.5%,” the IRNA agency quoted him as saying.
This is 3.67% higher than the figure stipulated in the contract. However, the United States unilaterally backed out of the deal a year ago, and the EU has failed to enforce its meaningful provisions. As a result, Tehran is entirely within its rights to proceed to levels of enrichment beyond the bounds of the now broken agreement.
Yesterday, Tehran announced the second phase of the reduction of obligations. The Islamic Republic explained this by the fact that the countries, who are signatories of the deal, could not fulfill the demands put forward earlier by Iran within 60 days. These concerned the economic interests of the country.
In Iran, they also announced the third stage, as a result of which the level of enrichment could increase to 20%.
This is the most significant announcement of all, because these are levels necessary to achieve a nuclear weapon level grade.
This announcement that enrichment could pass 20% is a strong signal that Iran will take the ‘North Korea’ route in terms of its strategic defense policy. In terms of negotiating an end to the sanctions, this move on the part of Tehran is entirely in-line with past proven methods.
In 2015, Iran and the six international mediators (Russia, USA, Britain, China, France, Germany) reached a historic agreement on resolving the long-standing problem of the Iranian atom.
A Joint Comprehensive Action Plan (JCPOA) was adopted, the implementation of which removed from Iran the previously introduced economic and financial sanctions by the UN Security Council, the United States and the European Union.
In May 2018, Donald Trump announced that Washington was withdrawing from the agreement. He also reported on the restoration of all sanctions against Tehran.
Including the introduction of secondary sanctions, that is, against other countries doing business with Iran. In addition, the goal was announced to bring the export of Iranian oil to zero.
The remaining five and Tehran have agreed to develop a financial mechanism for settlements in circumvention of US sanctions, but work in this direction is slow.
On the eighth of May, on the anniversary of the US withdrawal from a nuclear deal, Iran announced the termination of the implementation of a number of paragraphs of the FACU. Tehran said that the remaining participants in the transaction are unable to solve the problems.
Berlin, Paris, London, Beijing and Moscow were given 60 days to safeguard the interests of the Islamic Republic, but the situation did not change, leading to a second phase of reduction of obligations.
Now, enrichment of uranium can go above 20%, and extinguished IR-2 M centrifuges will resume – French President Macron urgently sent his highest diplomatic adviser to Tehran.
Iranian officials have threatened to increase uranium enrichment up to 20% and above 20% in subsequent moves, but also say they will reactivate the centrifuges that were deactivated after the signing of the 2015 nuclear agreement