Wednesday, 26 February, 2020


Iran says it can now take enrichment past 20pc mark

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. Reuters file Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. Reuters file
Bennie Garza | 10 September, 2019, 21:19

President Emmanuel Macron's efforts to stitch together a deal with Iran to stop the 2015 nuclear accord from collapsing was hanging by threads Friday - but not yet broken, despite Tehran's announced plans to step farther back from its global commitments. "Now they should wait and see how Iran achieves its goals".

Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation shows spokesman for the organisation Behrouz Kamalvandi speaking during a press conference in the capital Tehran on September 7, 2019. The INSTEX aims to barter humanitarian and food goods with Iran without using the US Dollar currency.

"In the four-month period, we held negotiations with the P4+1, including the European Union and the three European countries in particular", Rouhani said.

Tehran's move to use more advanced centrifuges indicates it could be about a year before it would have enough material to build a nuclear weapon, experts estimate. US President Donald Trump wants to force Iran to negotiate a new agreement that would place unspecified restrictions on its nuclear program and halt the development of its ballistic missiles.

Although the signatories of the nuclear deal - also including China and Russian Federation - have largely upheld their side of the agreement, Trump's withdrawal from the treaty and imposition of "secondary sanctions" has made it hard for Western signatories to help ease the financial impact.

The Islamic republic was performing on a menace to additional abandon its nuclear commitments in step with a minimize-off date it yelp for European powers to enact something to defend it from USA sanctions.

Trump claims the accord is a "disastrous one-sided deal" and said it hasn't stopped Iran from engaging in "malign activity".

He gave the parties to the deal another two months to fully implement its terms, saying if that happened Iran would return to implementing the agreement.

President Trump has said he is open to talks with Tehran, but Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said his country always will say "no" to bilateral talks with the United States. However, questions likely will grow in Europe over Iran's intentions as satellite photos obtained by The Associated Press on Saturday showed an once-detained oil tanker Tehran reportedly promised wouldn't go to Syria was off its coast.

The 2015 deal was created to prevent Iran developing nuclear weapons, though Iran has always denied wanting to do so.

On July 1, it acknowledged it had elevated its stockpile of enriched uranium to beyond the 300-kilogram maximum yelp by the deal.

Washington has renewed and intensified its sanctions, slashing Iran's crude oil sales by more than 80%.

Rather than appeasing the ruling mullahs, it is time for France to focus its diplomatic and political efforts on countering the clear and present threat the Iranian regime's aggressive policies pose across the region.

In June, Trump called off air raids against Iran at the last minute in June after Iranian forces downed a U.S. drone, and blamed Iran for a series of tanker attacks in the Gulf over Iranian denials.

Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said that a loan package recently discussed during talks in Paris could serve as compensation for the oil sales Iran has lost as a result of crippling US sanctions. "Iran has limited tools it can play with and that's why it has taken more minor incremental steps".

The Trump administration is "very skeptical" of a French initiative to provide Tehran a $15 billion credit line, but did not rule out approval. Another trade mechanism proposed by Europe called INSTEX also has faced difficulty.

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