Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Western Powers Press Iran to Stop Work on Highly Enriched Uranium

Western Powers Press Iran to Stop Work on Highly Enriched Uranium

Wednesday, 8 June, 2022 - 08:30
Diplomats attend the quarterly IAEA Board of Governors meeting at the agency headquarters in Vienna, Austria on June 06, 2022. (AFP)

The US, UK, France and Germany submitted a motion to the UN atomic energy watchdog to censure Iran over its lack of cooperation with the agency a year after Western countries stalled the presentation of a draft resolution condemning Iran before the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA),

The resolution urging Iran to cooperate fully with the IAEA is a sign of growing Western impatience after talks to revive the 2015 nuclear accord stopped in March.

However, the motion is largely symbolic and does not threaten any specific actions from world powers against Iran.

For its part, Iran threatened a proper response.

In a joint statement to the IAEA’s Board of Governors, which meets this week, Britain, France and Germany said they “strongly urge Iran to stop escalating its nuclear program and to urgently conclude (the) deal that is on the table.”

“Its nuclear program is now more advanced than at any point in the past,” they said, adding Iran’s accumulation of enriched uranium has no “credible civilian justification.”

“This is threatening international security and risks undermining the global nonproliferation regime,” the statement stressed.

The alarming accumulation of enriched material, in particular high enriched uranium enriched up to 60% and uranium enriched up to 20%, is a cause for great concern.

The rate of Iran’s enrichment of uranium is further reducing the time Iran would take to break out towards a first nuclear weapon and it is fueling distrust in Iran’s intentions, it continued.

“Iran’s nuclear advances are not only dangerous and illegal, they risk unraveling the deal that we have so carefully crafted together to restore the nuclear deal,” the statement said.

It is essential that Iran does not resume these activities or commence any further work, in particular related to the conversion of UF6 to UF4, all of which have no civilian credible justification in Iran.

Editor Picks