- Iran is unhappy with the IAEA’s latest statements.
- The EU has asked Iran to halt its uranium metal processing project.
- Israel fears a nuclear deal between the US and Iran.
Iran has asked the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to stop publishing discordant statements related to its nuclear program. The asseveration comes just a day after the IAEA issued a disclosure indicating that Iran was working to start processing uranium metal. The following is an excerpt from the statement made by Iran’s nuclear department:
“It is expected that the international atomic energy agency avoid providing unnecessary details and prevent paving ground for misunderstanding.”
Research and production of uranium metal is currently prohibited under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreement.
The harsh statement from Iran comes at a time when the regime is keen to avoid antagonizing the incoming Joe Biden administration, which it regards to be friendlier when compared to the outgoing Trump administration.
It also wants to maintain cooperation with nations that are signatory to the JCPOA agreement.
As such, negative statements regarding its nuclear program transgressions are bound to work against its favor. Under the JCPOA agreement, Iran stands to get a sanctions reprieve if it reduces its uranium enrichment levels to those outlined in the accord.
Major western nations fear that Iran is working towards creating a nuclear bomb, but Tehran has defended itself by declaring that its uranium metal processing project is for peaceful purposes.
JCPOA Members Warn Iran
In light of the IAEA report citing an Iran nuclear buildout, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom, who are signatories to the JCPOA agreement, issued a bellicose statement asking the nation to halt the reported activities at once.
“We strongly urge Iran to halt its activity and return to compliance with its JCPOA commitments without further delay if it is serious about preserving the deal,” they said.
While Iran insists that its nuclear program is for electricity generation purposes, there is a lot of skepticism surrounding the project. This is because the Middle East nation is basically floating on a pool of oil, and so doesn’t need nuclear energy to power its stations.
US and Israel Wary About Iranian Nuclear Program
Iran’s main rivals, the US and Israel, have been working to forestall its nuclear program for years. The US has, since 2018, imposed economic sanctions on the Islamic nation in a bid to deter it.
The US and Israel are equally suspected to have taken part in the sabotage incident that struck Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility in July last year. A major fire broke out at the site subsequently slowing down the development of advanced uranium enrichment centrifuges.
The facility, which is partly underground, is regularly monitored by IAEA inspectors.
In the aftermath of the incident, Tehran vowed to retaliate against any nations that participated in the attack.
Israel is Rattled by the Latest Developments
Tzachi Hanegbi, the Israeli Minister of Settlement Affairs, recently warned that Israel could attack Iran’s nuclear program if the US agreed to a nuclear deal. In an interview with public broadcaster Kan News, he said:
“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.”
Iran is likely to seek an agreement with the US allowing it to further its program. Having the capacity to make nuclear bombs would make it a major threat to Israel.