Lawmakers Underline Need to Protest UK Yellowcake Stance

Lawmakers Underline Need to Protest UK Yellowcake StanceLawmakers Underline Need to Protest UK Yellowcake Stance

Lawmakers have called on the government to protest Britain's decision to prevent Iran's yellowcake purchase deal with Kazakhstan in the next meeting of a panel that oversees the implementation of the 2015 nuclear accord.

Under the nuclear agreement with major powers, namely Britain, the US, France, China and Russia plus Germany collectively known as P5+1, Iran curtailed its nuclear program in return for the easing of international sanctions.

Iran is authorized by the agreement to purchase natural uranium or yellowcake. However, to do so, it needs to obtain the approval of the Joint Commission, a body of representatives from all the seven parties to the nuclear pact tasked with monitoring it and addressing complaints and grievances during its implementation.

Iran submitted a request to the panel a few months ago to buy 900 tons of Kazakh yellowcake. While other powers gave their consent, Britain developed cold feet at the last minute, denying Iran the unanimous endorsement to allow the yellowcake deal to go through.

  Obligations Disrespected

Morteza Saffari Natanzi criticized London's move as "disrespect" to its obligations under the nuclear pact.

"While Britain claims to be committed to the implementation of JCPOA, it refuses to endorse the yellowcake sale deal in a mark of blatant disrespect," Saffari said in an interview with ICANA on Wednesday, citing the official name of the nuclear pact, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

"P5+1 are bound to honor their commitments under the nuclear agreement and the issue [Britain's decision] should be raised in the commission."

Lawmaker Abolfazl Aboutorabi said London's decision falls in line with the policy of the administration of hawkish US President Donald Trump who has railed against the agreement and has vowed a harder line on the Islamic Republic.

"In my opinion, Britain's move to disapprove the sale of yellowcake to Iran is in line with the US policy of seeking to undermine JCPOA," he said.

"With the JCPOA restrictions in place, our stocks of enriched uranium are running short and the British move to block the yellowcake deal will create problems for us in this sector."

Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi said last week Iran recognizes the authority of the commission's members to either approve or reject such requests, but added that "they [Britain's representatives] claimed this amount of yellowcake is beyond Iran's needs while it is up to us to assess the amount required."

"The Foreign Ministry is seriously following up the issue," he said.  


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