EU “highly concerned” over Iran’s uranium enrichment programme

Spokesperson for the bloc's external action service, said that Iran's decision was

BRUSSELS, Jan 8 (NNN-AGENCIES) — The European Union (EU) is “highly concerned” over Iran’s decision to start enriching uranium with 20 percent purity, a spokesperson said.

Peter Stano, a spokesperson for the bloc’s external action service, said at the European Commission’s daily briefing that Iran’s decision was “regrettable.”

Iran started production of 20-percent enriched uranium at its Fordow facility on Monday as part of its Strategic Action Plan to Counter Sanctions, a parliamentary decision approved in December, according to the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran.

Stano noted that the move would have serious implications on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as it is “in breach with Iran’s nuclear commitments.”

However, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif tweeted that the action “conforms fully” with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), dubbed the Iran nuclear deal, and affirmed that the measures were “fully reversible upon FULL compliance by ALL.”

Stano underlined that all parties were willing to maintain JCPOA and the EU would be working to make sure that all parties were to respect the nuclear deal.

Also on Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said it is imperative for all parties to push the United States to unconditionally return to JCPOA as soon as possible and lift all relevant sanctions.

In May 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the JCPOA, and reimposed harsh sanctions against Iran.

In response, Tehran has gradually dropped some of its JCPOA commitments since May 2019. — NNN-AGENCIES