MPs Censure UK for Scuttling Yellowcake Deal

MPs Censure UK for Scuttling Yellowcake DealMPs Censure UK for Scuttling Yellowcake Deal

Lawmakers denounced Britain for rejecting Iran's request to buy over 900 tons of uranium concentrate from Kazakhstan and called for the Iranian government's firm reaction.

Iran's nuclear chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, announced on Feb. 25 plans for purchasing the material over the next three years for developing Iran's civil reactor program.

But he said the agreement with the Kazakh side has hit an impasse due to Britain's opposition in its capacity as a member of a panel tasked with monitoring the 2015 nuclear deal.

Salehi cited "the US elections and Middle East problems" as the reasons behind Britain's change of opinion, saying Iran was awaiting London's final decision.

In his statements to reporters on Thursday, he criticized Britain's uncooperative stance.

"During a meeting in Frankfurt, Germany, which was attended by former US secretary of energy, Ernest Moniz, the contract on the purchase of 900 tons of yellowcake was negotiated and signed, but unfortunately, the London government disrespected its commitments" under the nuclear accord by refusing to approve the purchase deal, he said.

Salehi said the Foreign Ministry was following up on the case, noting that if the contract comes into force, Iran will add 900 tons of nuclear material to its stockpile within three years.

Lawmaker Shahrouz Barzegar told ICANA in a Sunday talk that Britain's move is aimed at extracting concessions out of the Islamic Republic.

  No Retreat

"[Britain] must know that we will act based on the provisions of the JCPOA and will not retreat even one step from our demands," he said, citing the full name of the deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

"Iran intends to act on the JCPOA terms and expects other countries to do the same. Iran regards any lack of commitment, misconduct and insult from P5+1 members as unacceptable."

P5+1 stands for the group of powers, namely the US, Britain, France, China and Russia plus Germany, that negotiated the action plan with Iran to grant it sanctions relief in exchange for temporary curbs on its nuclear program.

MP Mohammad Ebrahim Rezaei urged the government to stand strong against the British stance to ensure it does not set a precedent for other western powers.

"The Foreign Ministry is expected to prevent future recurrence of such behavior," he said. Mohammad Javad Jamali, a member of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, said the commission will soon convene to review Britain's position against the yellowcake deal.

Under JCPOA, Tehran has committed to sell any excess supply of heavy water and enriched uranium on the international market. It also authorizes Iran to purchase natural uranium or yellowcake in return.

So the purchase of uranium ore would not violate the action plan, as it did not set limits on the Islamic Republic's procurement of the material.

Iran's request, however, needs to be endorsed by the Joint Commission, a body of representatives from all the seven parties to the action plan that oversees the historic nuclear agreement.

While other powers have given their approval, Britain had second thoughts and changed its mind at the last minute.


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