Iran's recent "nuclear escalations" raise concerns that should move all countries to increase pressure on Tehran, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday, as Iran resumed uranium enrichment at
one of its nuclear facilities.
"Iran's expansion of proliferation-sensitive activities raises concerns that Iran is positioning itself to have the option of a rapid nuclear breakout," Pompeo said in a statement.
"It is now time for all nations to reject this regime's nuclear extortion and take serious steps to increase pressure. Iran’s continued and numerous nuclear provocations demand such action," he added. Reuters reprted.
Aslo, the European Union expressed concern on Thursday at Iran’s holding of an inspector from the UN nuclear watchdog last week, with the US envoy to the agency calling it an “outrageous provocation” that must have consequences.
Iran had held the inspector and seized her travel documents in what appears to be the first incident of its kind since Iran’s nuclear deal with major powers was struck in 2015.
Iran confirmed that it prevented the inspector from gaining access to its main uranium-enrichment facility at Natanz. Its envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency told reporters that it was because she tested positive for traces of explosives but then no longer did.
"The detention of an IAEA inspector in Iran is an outrageous provocation," the US ambassador to the IAEA, Jackie Wolcott, said in a statement, according to Reuters.
“All Board members need to make clear now and going forward that such actions are completely unacceptable, will not be tolerated, and must have consequences.”