Iran says Wednesday that it will enrich uranium beyond the levels specified under the 2015 international deal
According to the Wall Street Journal, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday that Iran would take actions to enrich uranium to higher levels than the limit set in the 2015 Iranian Nuclear Deal, a deal which sought to stop Iran’s nuclear program from expanding. President Rouhani, in comments on state television Wednesday, stated “On [July 7] our enrichment level will no longer be 3.67%. We will set this commitment aside.” Iran has not announced to what level it will increase the enrichment to. ~
President Rouhani also made claims to restart construction on the JCPOA, an unfinished plutonium reactor complex in Arak which was suspended as part of the 2015 nuclear agreement, if Europe didn’t “fulfill its commitment to redesign a new reactor.” ~
This violation of the 2015 nuclear deal comes after Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed another violation earlier this week, stating that Iran has now “exceeded its internationally-agreed stockpile limit of low enriched Uranium” (CNBC, 2019). The Foreign Minister claims that Iran has surpassed 300 kilograms of uranium hexafluoride, which is equal to 202.8 kilograms of low-enriched uranium, a limit that was set under the previous nuclear deal. ~
The two 2015 nuclear deal violations, exceeding enrichment and stockpile levels, comes in response to Iran’s repeated threats to carry out such actions if European nations don’t provide some level of relief from U.S. sanctions and negotiate a new nuclear deal, or work harder to keep the old deal alive (Wall Street Journal, 2019). President Rouhani stated on Wednesday that, “Our advice to Europe and the U.S. is to return to logic, return to the negotiation table, return to understanding, mutual respect,” he said, “and we all implement the JCPOA under this condition.” President Trump responded on Twitter Wednesday, saying, “Iran has just issued a New Warning. Rouhani says that they will Enrich Uranium to ‘any amount we want’ if there is no new Nuclear Deal. Be careful with the threats, Iran. They can come back to bite you like nobody has been bitten before!” ~
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