image Photo: Reuters

Iran rejects E3 call to curb nuclear ambition

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has condemned a joint statement by Germany, France and Britain in which they “strongly call on Iran to stop violating the (nuclear) deal and return to fulfilling all its nuclear obligations completely.”

The announcement from the three European powers, known collectively as the “E3,” was issued after a meeting near Berlin on the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal with Iran by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas with his French and British counterparts, Jean-Yves Le Drian and Dominic Raab, respectively.

The E3 talks were held in the wake of acknowledgement by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that the Islamic Republic has stepped up its uranium enrichment in violation of the JCPOA pact it reached with six world powers, including the E3.

“The presence of multiple uranium particles of anthropogenic origin, including isotopically altered particles, at a location in Iran not declared to the Agency still needs to be fully and promptly explained by Iran to allay any possible concerns about the correctness and completeness of its safeguards declarations,” IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi said at a quarterly meeting of the UN nuclear watchdog’s 35-nation Board of Governors, before unequivocally stating, “What they are telling us from a technical point of view doesn’t add up, so they need to clarify this.”

In their joint statement, Paris, London and Berlin also called upon Tehran to end its aggressive behavior in the region, and cease its ballistic missile program, which is evidently capable of carrying nuclear payloads.

The Islamic Republic’s Supreme leader posted his denouncement of those appeals with a message on his official Twitter account, reading: “Iran’s presence in the region & the issue of Iran’s missiles have nothing to do with the UK, France, or Germany, particularly when they themselves possess destructive nuclear missiles.”

“They should first change their destructive intervention in the region before saying anything,” Khamenei wrote.

Earlier this week, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) launched a new warship capable of delivering aircraft, missile launchers and drones to its naval fleet. According to reports on state television, the Shahid Rudaki vessel is a “heavy, multi-purpose, and long-range warship capable of carrying all types of aircrafts, drones, missiles and radar systems” and “a mobile naval city capable of carrying ocean missions.”