Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Economy

Iran resumes uranium enrichment

DUBAI — Iran has resumed 20% uranium enrichment at an underground nuclear facility, the government said on Monday, breaching a 2015 nuclear pact with major powers and possibly complicating efforts by US President-elect Joe Biden to rejoin the deal.

Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Iran’s arch foe Israel, said the move was aimed at developing nuclear weapons and Israel would never allow Tehran to build them.

The enrichment decision, Iran’s latest contravention of the accord, coincides with increasing tensions between Iran and the United States in the last days of President Donald Trump’s administration.

Tehran started violating the accord in 2019 in a step-by-step response to Mr. Trump’s withdrawal from it in 2018 and the reimposition of US sanctions lifted under the deal.

The agreement’s main aim was to extend the time Iran would need to produce enough fissile material for a nuclear bomb, if it chose to, to at least a year from roughly two to three months. It also lifted international sanctions against Tehran.

“A few minutes ago, the process of producing 20% enriched uranium has started in Fordow enrichment complex,” government spokesman Ali Rabiei told Iranian state media.

The UN nuclear watchdog confirmed that Iran had started the process of enriching uranium to 20% purity at its Fordow site.

“Iran today began feeding uranium already enriched up to 4.1 percent U-235 into six centrifuge cascades at the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant for further enrichment up to 20%,” the IAEA said in a statement on a report that was sent to member states.

The step was one of many mentioned in a law passed by Iran’s parliament last month in response to the killing of the country’s top nuclear scientist, which Tehran has blamed on Israel.

“Our measures are fully reversible upon FULL compliance by ALL (parties to the deal),” tweeted Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Tehran insists it can quickly reverse its breaches if US sanctions are removed. Mr. Biden, who takes office on Jan. 20, has said the United States will rejoin the deal “if Iran resumes strict compliance” with the pact.

The Biden transition team declined to comment on Monday about Iran’s enrichment move.

NUCLEAR WATCHDOG
Tehran’s move could hinder efforts to salvage the nuclear pact as its breaches have increasingly worried some of the deal’s other parties, which have urged Iran to act responsibly.

However, it could also be accumulating bargaining chips that could be negotiated away in talks with the Biden administration.

A US State Department spokesperson accused Iran of “nuclear extortion.” In Brussels, a European Union Commission spokesperson said that the “move, if confirmed, would constitute a considerable departure from Iran’s commitments”.

On Jan. 1, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Tehran had told the watchdog it planned to resume enrichment up to 20% at the Fordow site, which is buried inside a mountain.

“The process of gas injection to centrifuges has started a few hours ago and the first product of uranium hexafluoride (UF6) gas will be available in a few hours,” Mr. Rabiei said.

Iran had earlier breached the deal’s 3.67% limit on the purity to which it can enrich uranium, but it had only gone up to 4.5% so far, well short of the 20% level and of the 90% that is weapons-grade.

US intelligence agencies and the IAEA believe Iran had a secret, coordinated nuclear weapons programme that it halted in 2003. Iran denies ever having had one.

In Jerusalem, Mr. Netanyahu said Iran’s enrichment decision could be explained only as a bid to “continue to carry out its intention to develop a military nuclear programme”.

“Israel will not allow Iran to produce nuclear weapons,” he added. — Reuters

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get the daily email that makes reading the news actually enjoyable. Stay informed and entertained, for free.
Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!

Latest

Investing

The number of businesses going bust in England and Wales jumped last month to its highest level since the start of the pandemic, as...

Economy

Co-engineered with ZEISS, new vivo X70 highlights state-of-the-art mobile photography technology Global brand vivo remains top of mind when one thinks of premium imaging...

Investing

Half of the UK’s working mothers do not get the flexibility they ask for, while those that do work flexibly face discrimination, according to...

Economy

By Jenina P. Ibañez, Reporter   Money sent home by overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) increased for the seventh straight month as more host economies with...

Economy

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) clarified that only medicines and medical devices for the treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) included in an updated government list...

Economy

Typhoon Kompasu has resulted in the worst container shipping traffic jam in months, one that now stretches throughout Southeast Asia and may take weeks to unravel. ...

You May Also Like

Investing

Having a good Instagram marketing agency to back up your Instagram account is an absolute must going into the new year. With competition stronger...

Economy

Ivermectin, an existing drug against parasites including head lice, has had a checkered history when it comes to treating COVID-19. The bulk of studies...

Investing

As a traditionally rigid insurance industry becomes bogged down by antiquated processes and operations, a handful of industry leaders are seeking to shake things...

Economy

US President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., will rely on ally countries to supply the bulk of the metals needed to build electric vehicles and focus on...

Disclaimer: SmartRetirementReport.com, its managers, its employees, and assigns (collectively "The Company") do not make any guarantee or warranty about what is advertised above. Information provided by this website is for research purposes only and should not be considered as personalized financial advice. The Company is not affiliated with, nor does it receive compensation from, any specific security. The Company is not registered or licensed by any governing body in any jurisdiction to give investing advice or provide investment recommendation. Any investments recommended here should be taken into consideration only after consulting with your investment advisor and after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Copyright © 2021 SmartRetirementReport. All Rights Reserved.

Get the daily email that makes reading the news actually enjoyable. Stay informed and entertained, for free.



Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!