Foreign Ministry Defends Latest Nuclear Measures

Foreign Ministry Defends Latest Nuclear Measures
Foreign Ministry Defends Latest Nuclear Measures

Iran reiterated that its nuclear program is peaceful and said it had informed the International Atomic Energy Agency about its latest nuclear enrichment activities. 
It added that its moves away from the 2015 nuclear deal would be reversed if the United States returned to the accord and lifted sanctions.
“If the other parties return to their obligations under the nuclear accord and Washington fully and verifiably lifts its unilateral and illegal sanctions ... all of Iran’s mitigation and countermeasures will be reversible,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said, ISNA reported.
The remarks by the senior diplomat came after the UN atomic watchdog said in a report on Tuesday that Iran has accelerated its enrichment of uranium to the 60% purity level.
Iran increased the purity to which it is refining uranium to 60% fissile purity from 20% in April in response to an explosion and power cut at its Natanz site that damaged output at the main underground enrichment plant. Iran has blamed the attack on Israel.
In May, the IAEA reported that Iran was using one cascade, or cluster, of advanced centrifuges to enrich to up to 60% at its above-ground pilot enrichment plant at Natanz. The IAEA informed member states on Tuesday that Iran was now using a second cascade for that purpose, Reuters reported. 
The moves are the latest of steps by Iran exceeding the restrictions imposed by the 2015 nuclear deal, which capped the purity to which Tehran can refine uranium at 3.67%. 



Remedial Measures 

Tehran says its “remedial” measures are in response to the US sanctions reimposed after its withdrawal from the nuclear deal and the failure of the remaining parties to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to make up for the damage caused by the bans. 
The United States and its European allies have said such moves have endangered talks on reviving the deal, which are currently suspended, despite the fact that they themselves have failed to take any effective measures to help advance the nuclear talks on the revival of the JCPOA. 
The IAEA also said on Monday that Iran had made progress in its work on enriched uranium metal despite objections by western powers.
France, Germany and Britain voiced concern on Thursday about the report that Iran had accelerated its enrichment of uranium, alleging that this was a serious violation of its commitments.
In a joint statement, the three countries said they were worried about IAEA reports confirming that Iran has produced uranium metal enriched up to 20% fissile purity and lifted production capacity of uranium enriched to 60%.
“Iran must halt activities in violation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action without delay,” the joint statement from the three foreign ministries said. 
“We urge Iran to return to the negotiations in Vienna as soon as possible with a view to bringing them to a swift, successful conclusion. We have repeatedly stressed that time is on no-one’s side,” they added.
The talks have been at a standstill since the inauguration of Iran’s new President Ebrahim Raeisi, although he says he supports efforts to lift US sanctions.

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