After the Islamic Republic’s Supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, revealed he had ordered preparations to increase Iran’s uranium enrichment capacity if the nuclear deal with world powers would fall apart; Iran officially informed the International Atomic Energy Agency of its intensions, yet claimed the enrichment capacity would remain within the provisions of the nuclear accord. Tehran’s Ambassador to the IAEA said the decision was made as a “preparatory” measure for a possible scenario if the nuclear deal would collapse. That said, the Iranian diplomat noted that the Islamic Republic had given European nations “a few weeks” to come up with ways to protect the deal from America’s pullout. “These are the preparatory works for a possible scenario if in the unfortunate situation the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) fails, then Iran can restart its activities without any limits that are already (in place) being under the JCPOA,” Iran’s Ambassador to IAEA Reza Najafi said.
The International Atomic Energy Agency, which is tasked with monitoring the restrictions placed on Iran’s nuclear activities under the deal, has indicated Tehran’s ongoing compliance of the agreement, yet also called for “timely and proactive cooperation” on providing access for snap inspections – a reoccurring call by the nuclear watchdog in recent months. Ambassador Najafi responded to the request, stressing “no one should expect Iran’s compliance to implement additional voluntary measures.” “What I can say is that while Iran is not benefiting from the deal, no one should expect Iran to go to implement more voluntary measures,” Iran’s Ambassador to IAEA Reza Najafi said.
In response to the Iranian decision to increase its uranium enrichment capacity; French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian warned that the Islamic Republic “must understand that if they break the deal they will face new sanctions and the Europeans will not stand idly by.” That said, the French top diplomat asserted Europe’s desire to preserve the nuclear agreement, while pointing to the fact that Tehran was still complying to the nuclear agreement. “I think this (Iranian) announcement is quite unwarranted, it’s evidence of a degree of irritation and it’s always dangerous to flirt with red lines. But for now, the decision that’s been taken to reinforce the uranium enrichment process remains totally within the bounds of the Vienna accord.” / If they go to the next level then, yes, the deal would be broken but the Iranians must understand that if they break the deal they will face new sanctions and the Europeans will not stand idly by. We want the deal to remain in place, that’s what we’re working for, we’re working for it with the Iranians. I understand that there is a debate about this in Iran but they need to keep their heads and remain true to the deal which needs to be monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency, which is what’s happening, and today the deal is not broken and Iran is sticking to its promises,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said.