Ayatollah Khamenei says Iran could enrich 60% uranium if needed, a rate far from the 3.67% provided for in the agreement signed in 2015 but called into question by the withdrawal of the United States and the limitation of inspections by Iran.
Iran could enrich uranium to 60% if needed, says Ayatollah Khamenei on February 22, 2021. To challenge US sanctions against it and push the US to lift them, Iran has adopted the February 21, a law limiting inspections of its nuclear sites.
“The necessary instructions have been given to the nuclear facilities,” informed Kazem Gharibabadi, Iranian ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
“Once everyone has done their part and fulfilled their obligations, then there will be [une reprise] discussions ”on a full return to the agreement, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said.
The US State Department calls on Iran to “completely” submit to the control of its nuclear activities, after a temporary agreement was signed on February 21 to maintain surveillance of nuclear activities, although reduced, for the time being. that diplomatic talks begin between the signatories of the 2015 pact.
“Access will be reduced, let’s not hide our face, but we will be able to maintain the necessary degree of monitoring and verification,” said Rafael Grossi, IAEA director general: “This saves the situation in the ‘immediate.” This “technical bilateral agreement” valid for three months leaves the number of inspectors on site unchanged and allows for unannounced checks.
Towards a return of the United States to the agreement?
Iran adopted this law in order to react to Donald Trump’s decision in 2018 to leave the agreement concluded between Iran and five countries (France, United Kingdom, United States, China, Russia) in 2015 and to restore economic sanctions against Iran. In early January, the Middle Eastern country announced that it would resume uranium enrichment to the tune of 20%.
To return to an enrichment threshold of 3.67% as provided for in the 2015 agreement, Iran is demanding the lifting of US sanctions. To make military use of uranium, it must be 90% enriched.
Ayatollah Khamenei specifies that Iran “has not abandoned its commitments and has gradually reduced some of them, which are still reversible”, referring to the case where other countries parties to the agreement “return to their responsibilities” . And to continue: “Westerners are well aware that we are not trying to design nuclear weapons.”
Iran is suspected, notably by Israel, of seeking to acquire nuclear weapons. But President Joe Biden assures us that he would return to the agreement if Tehran again honored its commitments.