UK, France and Germany warn Iran against planned violation of nuclear deal

Officials warn of ‘potentially grave’ implications from uranium metal production 

Conrad Duncan
Saturday 16 January 2021 22:09
Comments
<p>The 2015 Iran nuclear agreement was signed with the aim of preventing the country from developing nuclear weapons</p>

The 2015 Iran nuclear agreement was signed with the aim of preventing the country from developing nuclear weapons

Leer en Español

The UK, France and Germany have warned Iran against a planned violation of its 2015 nuclear deal, insisting that Tehran has “no credible civilian use” for uranium metal.

The International Atomic Energy Agency reported on Thursday that Iran had said it had begun installing equipment for the production of uranium metal.

It said the Iranian government maintained that its plans to conduct research and development on uranium metal production were part of its “declared aim to design an improved type of fuel”.

However, in a joint statement on Saturday, the British, French and German foreign ministries said they were “deeply concerned” by the latest Iranian announcement.

“Iran has no credible civilian use for uranium metal. The production of uranium metal has potentially grave military implications,” they said.

“We strongly encourage Iran to end this activity, and return to full compliance with its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action without delay, if it is serious about preserving this agreement.”

Uranium metal can be used for producing nuclear weapons and research on its production is specifically prohibited under the Iran nuclear deal signed by the UK, Germany, France, China, Russia and the US in 2015.

The ultimate goal of the agreement was to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb - something Iranian officials have insisted they do not want to do.

Although the US unilaterally withdrew from the deal in 2018 under the Trump administration, president-elect Joe Biden has said he hopes to return the country to the deal soon.

Iran has been accelerating its breaches in recent months, partly in response to the killing of its top nuclear scientist in November - an incident which Iranian officials blamed on Israel.

The breaches have also been viewed as a retaliation for the reimposition of sanctions by the US which had been scrapped in exchange for restrictions on the country’s nuclear activities.

Additional reporting by agencies

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in