Iran takes new step away from nuke deal

Iran takes new step away from nuke deal

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Nov. 6

By Elnur Baghishov - Trend:

Iran has put the 2,800 kg cylinder including 2,000 kg uranium hexafluoride (UF6) in Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant as part of the fourth step of reducing commitments to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Trend reports citing IRNA.

In line with the order issued by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), the UF6 cylinder was installed in Fordow under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors.

Under the JCPOA in 2015, which put an end to the Iranian controversial nuclear issue, Iran agreed to reduce the purity of its enriched uranium to 3 percent.

Following the withdrawal of Washington from the Iranian nuclear deal in May last year, Tehran declared that it would reconsider its approach to the deal, if other signatories fail to guarantee Iran’s benefits from the accord.

Meanwhile, Iran’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative in Vienna Kazem Gharibabadi said on Nov. 5 that Iran sent a letter to IAEA to notify them on Tehran’s decision to further scale back nuclear deal commitments by injecting gas into Fordow facility.

On Nov. 5, President Rouhani announced that Iran will take the fourth step of reducing commitments to the JCPOA from Nov. 6.

Iran’s 4th step, just like the three previous ones, will be revocable if it sees that other parties also comply with the deal, the president said.

Iran's new activities will be under supervision of IAEA, Rouhani noted.

In January 2016, the JCPOA was implemented between Iran and the P5+1 group (US, Russia, China, UK, France and Germany) in connection with Iran's nuclear program. In May 2018, the US announced its withdrawal from the deal and imposed sanctions against Iran in November of the same year. In order to preserve the agreements reached as part of the JCPOA, the European signatories of the deal stated in January 2019 that a financial mechanism for maintaining trade with Iran called INSTEX was formed.

On May 8, 2019, Iran announced that it had ceased fulfilling its commitments regarding the sale of over 300 kilograms of uranium, as stated in the deal, basing its decision on the other signatories having not fulfilled their obligations. On July 7, Iran announced that it will not be fulfilling its commitments regarding the enrichment of uranium at 3.67 percent and the reconstruction of the Arak Heavy Water Reactor Facility as stated in the deal.

On Sept. 5, Iran announced that it will enrich uranium using next-generation centrifuges and will not mix it with the enriched uranium residues as part of the third step of reducing commitments in the JCPOA, and stated that a further step will be taken in two months, should the other signatories not fulfill their commitments.

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