March 20, 2022


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IAEA inspectors visit Iran’s Natanz uranium enrichment site | Nuclear Energy News

European signatories to Iran’s nuclear deal specific ‘grave concern’ over Iran’s choice to spice up uranium enrichment to 60 %, its highest stage ever.

Inspectors from the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog have visited Iran’s nuclear enrichment website at Natanz days after it was reportedly attacked in what Tehran has known as an act of “sabotage”.

The Worldwide Atomic Vitality Company (IAEA) didn’t touch upon the extent of the harm from Sunday’s explosion, which knocked out electrical energy on the website in central Iran.

Iran has blamed Israel for the blast at its key nuclear website, which got here as Iran was persevering with talks with world powers in Vienna over restoring the 2015 nuclear accord, formally often known as the Joint Complete Plan of Motion (JCPOA).

“IAEA inspectors are continuing their verification and monitoring activities in Iran, and today have been at the Natanz enrichment site,” the IAEA mentioned in an announcement on Wednesday.

“The IAEA will continue to report on relevant developments regarding Iran’s nuclear programme to the IAEA Board of Governors,” it mentioned, referring to its 35-nation decision-making physique.

Iran introduced it could enhance uranium enrichment as much as 60 %, its highest stage ever, in response to the assault. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani mentioned the choice to extend uranium enrichment after the assault was “an answer to your evilness”, saying Israel hoped to derail the talks aimed toward reviving Tehran’s tattered nuclear deal. Israeli authorities haven’t commented on the assault.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has promised by no means to permit Tehran to acquire a nuclear weapon. Whereas Iran’s transfer retains enrichment under weapons-grade ranges of 90 %, it’s a quick step away. Iran insists that its nuclear programme is peaceable.

The announcement got here as negotiators from the remaining signatories to the JCPOA – Russia, China, Germany, France, the UK, the European Union and Iran – ready to renew negotiations on the USA rejoining the accord.

Washington unilaterally pulled out of the settlement in 2018 below former US President Donald Trump, however the administration of President Joe Biden has mentioned it could rejoin if Iran returns to compliance with the deal. Iran has mentioned it could not return to compliance till the US lifts harsh sanctions imposed on it because the US withdrawal.

‘Grave concern’

France, Germany and the UK, all events to the nuclear deal, issued a joint assertion on Wednesday expressing their “grave concern” over Iran’s choice to extend enrichment.

“This is a serious development since the production of highly enriched uranium constitutes an important step in the production of a nuclear weapon,” the nations mentioned. “Iran has no credible civilian need for enrichment at this level.”

Saudi Arabia, a regional rival to Iran mentioned enriching at that stage “could not be considered a programme intended for peaceful purposes.”

“The kingdom calls on Iran to avoid escalation and not to subject the security and stability of the region to more tension, and to engage seriously in the current negotiations,” Saudi Arabia mentioned in an announcement.

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