New developments reported over Iranian nuclear programme
Iran has made its intention to enrich uranium a reality and has begun the process of enriching uranium to 20%.
It should be noted that on January 2, Iran had expressed its intention to enrich uranium to the UN nuclear watchdog.
“The process of enriching uranium to 20% has begun at the Shahid Ali Mohammadi Enrichment Complex (Fordow),” official spokesman Ali Rabei told Iran’s state broadcaster’s website.
According to the official, “Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has recently ordered an enrichment process and the gas injection process began a few hours ago.”
On the other hand, the European Union said that Iran’s uranium enrichment program was tantamount to a “large-scale withdrawal” from the nuclear deal.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has confirmed Iran’s intention to enrich uranium.
EU spokesman Peter Stano said he would wait in Brussels for a briefing from the director of the UN nuclear watchdog (IAEA) on what to do about it.
According to an IAEA report published in November, Tehran had previously enriched uranium far beyond the 2015 Vienna Convention (3.67%) but did not exceed 4.5%.
U.S. intelligence agencies and the IAEA believe Iran had a secret and integrated nuclear weapons program that was halted in 2003.
US President-elect Joe Biden has indicated that Washington will join a joint comprehensive plan aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear program.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the change of US administration meant that there was a “last window” for positive progress with Iran, which “should not be lost”.
Iran’s statement on uranium enrichment came after Mohsen Fakhrizada, a prominent Iranian nuclear scientist, was shot dead near the capital, Tehran, in November 2020.
Iran has said Israeli weapons were used in the assassination of a nuclear scientist.
It should be noted that US President Donald Trump had announced his withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Iran in 2018, which was aimed at limiting Iran’s activities in the region and withdrawing from the missile program.
On May 8, 2018, US President Donald Trump declared Iran a dangerous country and announced his withdrawal from the nuclear deal signed by former President Barack Obama with world powers including China, Russia, Britain and Germany.
On March 5, 2019, the UN nuclear watchdog said that Iran was complying with the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers and was committed to refraining from developing further weapons.
In 2015, then-US President Barack Obama signed an agreement in Vienna between other world powers, including Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States, on Iran’s nuclear program.
Iran had also signed an agreement stating that it would suspend all ballistic missile development programs and lift sanctions on Iran as an alternative to the agreement and receive billions of dollars in aid.