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Iran’s Uranium Enrichment Work Enters New Phase

Iran’s Uranium Enrichment Work Enters New Phase

TEHRAN – Iran’s permanent representative to international organizations, Kazem Gharibabadi, said the country had taken another step forward in its uranium enrichment activities.
Iran’s final step in fulfilling its commitments in the Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was to inject uranium hexafluoride gas (UF6) in IR-2M centrifuges, which was discussed at a seasonal meeting of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Subsequently, the European Troika (France, Great Britain and Germany) again issued a statement against Iran and accused Tehran of violating the JCPOA.
At the same time, referring to recent IAEA reports, US President, Donald Trump, has called for an attack on Iran, an irrational demand that has met with opposition.
In an interview with the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), Gharibabadi, weighed in on these developments as well as other relevant issues.
Gharibabadi said Tehran adopts its positions on IAEA and safeguards issues at seasonal IAEA Governing Council meetings based on three criteria: reports from the IAEA Director General, stated implementation of the obligations of the other signatories of the nuclear agreement and the positions of the countries at the Council meeting.
“As the subject of the discussions at the meeting is Iran, we are generally developing our positions as the last speaker, so that we can show the necessary reaction to the issues raised by the countries present at the meeting,” he said. .
At the meeting, Gharibabadi said, the three European countries regretted the US withdrawal from the JCPOA and the re-imposition of sanctions against Iran.
“They also presented a long list of criticisms and concerns regarding Iran’s reduction of its commitments under the JCPOA, calling on Iran to return to full implementation of its obligations,” noted Mr. Gharibabadi.
He said the serious challenges facing the JCPOA include the unilateral and illegal withdrawal from the Washington accord, the reimposition of sanctions and Europe’s inaction to offset this situation.
“This comes as Iran remained fully and effectively committed to all of its obligations for a year after the United States withdrew from the agreement,” he said.
Gharibabadi criticized the Europeans for simply expressing regret over Washington’s withdrawal, but took no action.
“And as far as Iran is concerned, they express serious concern about Iran’s reciprocal measures which are in accordance with the provisions of the IAEA,” he noted.
Gharibabdi said that the Europeans had, in the past two and a half years, taken no special steps to fulfill their obligations regarding the lifting of sanctions and peaceful nuclear cooperation with Iran.
He said Iran must see the “effects of the lifting of sanctions in practice.”
“As for the Instrument to Support Trade (INSTEX), Europeans themselves know that it was not an effective tool,” he noted.
“Thus, Europeans as well as the Member States of the IAEA and its Board of Governors should remember these realities, which, of course, is always done at different levels and on different occasions,” he said.
Gharibabadi said that if the Europeans want Iran to reverse its reciprocal moves, they should honor their commitments under the JCPOA and work towards lifting the sanctions.
He said that the injection of uranium hexafluoride (UF6) gas is the last step before the start of the enrichment process and the separation of uranium 238 from uranium 235.
“As a result, in addition to the first generation centrifuges, a cascade of 174 new IR-2M centrifuges will enrich the uranium from the Natanz nuclear facility,” he added.
“The three European countries had already announced their positions on the development of new machines,” he said.
“In response, we kept telling them that Iran cannot go back to the commitments it reduced until it reaped the benefits of the JCPOA with the lifting of sanctions,” he said.
Gharibabdi said it was neither logical nor practical for Iran to implement the JCPOA unilaterally and at its own expense.
At the same time, he stressed that Iran remains committed to the IAEA safeguards agreements.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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