Representatives of the governments of France, Germany and the United Kingdom – and the High Representative of the European Union – have said that they are ‘extremely concerned’ by IAEA reports that Iran is to restart uranium enrichment activities at the Fordow facility, which they have described as ‘a regrettable acceleration of Iran’s disengagement from commitments under the JCPOA’ [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, otherwise known as the ‘Iran Nuclear Deal’].
Iran has said that it may commence enrichment up to 60% fissile purity (90% being needed for the creation of a nuclear weapon.)
The representatives said that they urged Iran ‘to reverse all measures inconsistent with the JCPOA, including exceeding the maximum allowed low enriched uranium stockpile and the maximum allowed enrichment limits, and not respecting the limits set by the JCPOA on nuclear R&D activities…We underline the importance of the full and effective implementation of the JCPOA by all sides and confirm our determination to continue all efforts to preserve the agreement, which is in the interests of all. Iran must return to full implementation of its commitments under the JCPOA without delay.’
They said that they had ‘fully upheld their JCPOA commitments, including sanctions-lifting as foreseen under the JCPOA,’ and that it was now ‘critical’ for Iran to uphold its commitments, and work with other participants to deescalate tensions.
Iranian news agency IRNA quoted Behrouz Mamalvandi of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran as saying, ‘Inaction by European parties has made us move towards Fordow only after three years.’
IRNA opined that ‘Germany, France, and the UK have not been able to take necessary actions to keep Iran content after the US pulled out of the nuclear deal’ and that ‘efforts such as SPV and INSTEX are nothing but mere statements that can’t meet Iran’s legitimate demands.’
It warned that Iran could not be prevented from moving toward enrichment by the ‘Europeans’ actions’ and that there would be no ‘happy ending’ for ‘the western states’ in consequence.