Iran - 60 percent enrichment of uranium. Is it enough for now? | Eurasia Diary -

18 May, Tuesday

Iran - 60 percent enrichment of uranium. Is it enough for now?

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When there were reports that negotiations began in Vienna, organized by the Joint Commission of Iran and the International Five "(Germany, France, Great Britain, China, Russia) on the implementation of the Iranian Nuclear Agreement (JCPA) their beginning coincided with the fact that Iran  tested of improved centrifuges IR-9 used to enrich uranium. 

Incident, which took place at Natanz, has drawn sharp reactions from many Iranian officials, who see Israel's hand behind it.

 In Iran, they called the incident on the nuclear facility in Natanz as "Terror act". "We condemn the terrorist attack in Natanz and an attempt of Iran's enemies to prevent the country's progress in the atomic area," said the country's vice-president, head of the Atomic Energy Organization Iran Ali Akbar Salehi in the evening. According to him, one of the purpose of this attack was to sabotage negotiations in Vienna, aimed at the revival of a nuclear transaction with Iran.

Earlier on the same day, the English-language Iranian TV channel Press TV ("Press TV") reported that the problem with the electrical distribution network was given to the "incident" on the Iranian nuclear facility.

On the eve, on April 10, a new workshop for the production of advanced centrifuges was commissioned in Natanz, and the gas injection of a new generation centrifuge began.

On Tuesday, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araghchi informed the International Atomic Energy Association, which regulates the international use of nuclear energy, that Iran would begin enriching uranium at 60%. The increase was in response to the alleged Israeli cyberattack on the Iranian nuclear facility in Natanz on Sunday, the state Mehr News Agency reported.

Uranium enrichment is the process by which certain parts of the chemical element uranium are isolated. The process is necessary to develop nuclear energy, and a nuclear weapon can be built when uranium levels reach 90%.

The 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), more commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, required Iran’s enrichment levels to not exceed 3.67%. The agreement sought to remove the threat of a nuclear Iran in exchange for removing sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

The enrichment announcement comes amid indirect talks between Tehran and Washington on a possible US return to the agreement. The two sides participated in meetings in Vienna last week through European, Russian and Chinese intermediaries. The negotiations are scheduled to resume on Wednesday. According to the adopted schedule, negotiations should be completed in two months, on the eve of the presidential elections in Iran. Washington signals that the United States may weaken some sanctions against Tehran, in addition to the removal of which was provided in the initial version of JCPOA. However, everything goes to the fact that two months before the elections of Ruhani and Zarif will refrain from making any compromise solutions, giving way to Washington initiative. Hence the question again:  Can  terrorist attack in Natanze prevent negotiations between Iran and 5? 

Who want disrupt negotiations on the Iranian nuclear program?.

Holding Israel responsible, Iran’s Foreign Minister Zarif said several Israeli officials have since 2020 "threatened to carry out such an operation to prevent the restoration of the JCPOA,” referring to ongoing efforts between Tehran and Western powers to salvage the 2015 accord, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran reserves its right under international law to take all necessary measures to protect and defend its citizens, interests and installations against any terrorist or disruptive acts," he wrote further.

- ‘Nuclear terrorism’

Earlier, Iran's Foreign Ministry said the incident was "a bold act of nuclear terrorism on Iranian soil,” pointing a finger at Israel.

by Alimusa Ibrahimov

No description available.

Alimusa Ibrahimov is a political expert and lecturer at the International Relations department of Baku State University. 

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