- Iran has breached another JCPOA rule.
- The nation is starting to process uranium metal.
- EU nations warn that the move could undermine talks with the US.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN agency that is responsible for ensuring that Iran and other nations use nuclear energy for peaceful means has announced that Tehran has breached the guidelines by starting the production of uranium metal.
A visit by IAEA inspectors on January 10 at the Isfahan plant reportedly confirmed the plan. Iranian officials informed the agency that production of the equipment needed to process the metal was ongoing.
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) protocols prohibit research into uranium metal production processes.
This is because uranium metal can be used for peaceful purposes or to make a nuclear bomb.
That said, Iran is still far from attaining 90 percent uranium processing which is needed to make a nuclear bomb. Last week, it announced that it would begin processing 20 percent enriched uranium. This, of course, is of major concern to its adversaries in the region, which include Israel and Saudi Arabia.
Israel is Planning to Strike Iranian Facility
There are reports that the Israeli military is drawing up plans to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities. This is according to a recent article published by the Israel Hayom newspaper.
According to the publication, Aviv Kohavi, the IDF Chief of Staff, has already forwarded a couple of strategic attack proposals aimed at forestalling Tehran’s nuclear program. A military strike is among the main considerations.
The revelation came soon after, Tzachi Hanegbi, the Minister of Settlement Affairs warned that Israel would have no choice but to attack the Iranian nuclear program once the United States assented to a nuclear deal.
“If the United States government rejoins the nuclear deal — and that seems to be the stated policy as of now — the practical result will be that Israel will again be alone against Iran, which by the end of the deal will have received a green light from the world, including the United States, to continue with its nuclear weapons program,” he said while speaking to Kan news.
President-elect Joe Biden, has already expressed interest in rejoining talks with Iran once he becomes president.
According to Finance Minister Israel Katz, there is hope that Biden will consider a raft of important security factors before finalizing negotiations with Iran.
According to the minister, including the nation’s ballistic missile program in the agreement would be nice.
“There are disputes (with Biden) regarding the perspective on Iran, and of course that will prove challenging,” he acknowledged.
Iran Risks Undermining Negotiations
Britain, Germany, and France have issued statements regarding Iran’s latest nuclear developments and said that it risks compromising talks with Washington. The announcement was made soon after Iran announced its 20 percent uranium enrichment project.
Representatives of the three nations also highlighted that Iran lacked ‘credible civil justification’ for pushing on with its nuclear program. They additionally noted that enhanced uranium enrichment processing violates rules outlined in the JCPOA accord and this had the effect of undermining it.