Iran denounces European criticism of expanding nuclear program

Tehran says the European concern is unwarranted since the nations involved are not fully committed to the nuclear deal.

Tehran, Iran – Iran condemned a declaration by three European powers expressing their concern at the reduction of its commitments under the historic 2015 nuclear deal.

In a statement on Saturday, the spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry called a statement by France, Germany and the UK – together known as E3 – irresponsible.

Saeed Khatibzadeh called on E3 to honor its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the 2015 nuclear deal signed between Iran and world powers that put the brakes on Iran’s nuclear program by exchange of the lifting of multilateral sanctions.

“The peaceful nuclear activities of the Islamic Republic of Iran are fully within the framework of international laws and are completely legal and legitimate, and in accordance with the inherent legal rights of countries,” Khatibzadeh said in a statement.

E3 said this week it remains committed to the nuclear deal, which the United States has tried to dismantle since President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from it in May 2018 and reimposed sanctions tough on Iran.

However, the three countries said they “continue to be extremely concerned about Iran’s actions, which destroy the main non-proliferation benefits of the agreement.”

After remaining committed to the nuclear deal for a year under the new US sanctions, Iran has started to gradually reduce its commitments in steps it says are quickly reversible.

But European powers have expressed concern that Iran is enriching uranium above the 3.67% threshold set in the nuclear deal, and its continued growth of a stockpile of low-enriched uranium. , now 12 times the JCPOA limit according to a recent report from the International Atomic Energy Agency.

“Unlike the JCPOA, Iran uses advanced centrifuges for the production of low enriched uranium,” E3 said, adding that Tehran was also getting richer at Fordow, a facility that “has no credible civilian use.” .

E3 also expressed concern about Iranian research and development of several types of advanced centrifuges and the supply of uranium hexafluoride into its IR2m cascade of centrifuges.

In his statement, Khatibzadeh said Iran was acting on the basis of the provisions of the nuclear deal by reducing its commitments since the US abandoned the deal and Europe failed to deliver the economic benefits promised after the lifting of multilateral sanctions.

“This is very much in line with the JCPOA and Iran has always emphasized that if other parties fully implement the JCPOA, Iran’s nuclear measures are reversible,” he said.

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