Iran has stated that from now on the country no longer feels bound by the uranium enrichment limit allowed by the Vienna Atomic Energy Act. “Starting today, we will not hold on to the 3.67 percent and our uranium enrichment will be increased as needed,” said government spokesman Ali Rabei on Sunday in the Iranian capital Tehran.
The limitation of uranium enrichment to a maximum of 3.67 percent is a central requirement of the 2015 Vienna agreement to prevent Iran from building a nuclear bomb. The country also threatened on Sunday to give up further nuclear obligations “in 60 days”. Tehran hopes that a “solution” will be found with the remaining contracting parties to the nuclear agreement, “otherwise we will open the third phase in 60 days,” said Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi to journalists.
Iran will gradually increase uranium enrichment to 5 to 20 percent according to technical needs, Iranian nuclear spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said at a joint press conference with Rabei and Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi. However, there are currently no instructions for an enrichment to 20 percent, which is required for the medical reactor in Tehran, said Kamalvandi.
At the Friday prayer address, an influential Ayatollah in Tehran said that Iran had no interest in a nuclear bomb: “Because we do not need them, and besides, they are against Islamic regulations,” said Ayatollah Ali Mowahid Kirmani.
Araghchi described the Iranian move as legitimate and within the legal framework of the Vienna Agreement. “We have had one year of diplomacy after last year’s US exit … but without results,” Araghchi said. Nevertheless, the path to a diplomatic solution remains open.
President Hasan Rouhani had on Saturday evening a constructive telephone conversation with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron over further negotiations led, said the deputy minister. It was above all a meeting of foreign ministers of the six remaining contractors – including Russia, China, Britain, France, Germany and Iran.
The United States left the agreement with Tehran in 2018. President Donald Trump has also imposed sanctions on the country threatening any economic disadvantage that Iranian oil purchases. He wants to drastically reduce the income of the Islamic Republic and make Tehran politically compliant.