Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Iran Restarts Uranium Fuel Production for Reactor -- Breaching Nuclear Deal

Iran has started work on uranium fuel for a research reactor in the capital of Tehran, the U.N. nuclear watchdog said on Wednesday, constituting the latest violation of the nuclear deal.

News of the metal-based fuel production was confirmed by the state-affiliated Tasnim news agency.

The move is part of a wide-sweeping campaign to avenge the November killing of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the mastermind behind the country’s nuclear weapons program, which Tehran blamed on Israel as well as in response to sanction imposed by the U.S.

President-elect Joe Biden has promised to reenter the nuclear deal, from which President Donald Trump withdrew in 2018, after entering office later this month.

“(International Atomic Energy Agency) Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi today informed IAEA Member States about recent developments regarding Iran’s plans to conduct R&D activities on uranium metal production as part of its declared aim to design an improved type of fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor,” the IAEA said in a statement.

Earlier this month, Iran announced its plans to enrich uranium to 20 percent at its underground Fordo site, a move Israel has warned proves the Islamic Republic is seeking nuclear weapons.

Iran announced Monday it has begun enriching uranium up to 20 percent, far beyond the limits set out in the 2015 nuclear accords. https://t.co/hKGDx0QxEd

— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) January 5, 2021

E.U. foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Monday warned Tehran its decision to enrich uranium was “a very serious development” with “potentially severe proliferation implications.”

“We urge Iran to refrain from further escalation and reverse this course of action without delay. Continued full and timely cooperation with the (U.N. nuclear watchdog) IAEA remains critical,” he said.

He added that the E.U. was looking forward to working with Biden on returning to the nuclear deal.

Deborah Brand

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