IAEA urges Iran to explain uranium particles at undeclared site
The UN nuclear watchdog on Thursday urged Iran to explain the presence of uranium particles at an undeclared site, as a landmark deal aimed at curbing Tehran's atomic activities threatens to collapse. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in a report made public last week that its inspectors had "detected natural uranium particles of anthropogenic origin at a location in Iran not declared to the agency".
PARIS, Nov 11 (Reuters) - France, Britain and Germany said on Monday they would consider a dispute resolution mechanism enshrined in the 2015 Iran nuclear deal that could lead to United Nations sanctions being reimposed for recent breaches of the pact.
In a joint statement, the three countries, known as the E3, warned Iran that its latest actions were hindering their efforts to defuse tensions in the region.
Iran announces sharp rise in enriched uranium production
Iran announced Monday a more than tenfold increase in enriched uranium production following a series of steps back from commitments under a 2015 nuclear deal abandoned by the United States. The Islamic republic has also developed two new advanced centrifuges, one of which is undergoing testing, Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran, announced. Enriched uranium production has reached five kilogrammes per day, Salehi told reporters at the Natanz facility in central Iran in remarks broadcast by state television.That compares with the level of 450 grams two months ago.
They added that they were extremely concerned by its decision to resume uranium enrichment at the Fordow plant, though stopped short of directly urging sanctions.
"Iran's action ... has potentially severe proliferation implications," the three countries said in the statement.
"We affirm our readiness to consider all mechanisms in the JCPoA (nuclear deal), including the dispute resolution mechanism, to resolve the issues related to Iran's implementation of its JCPoA commitments."
Iran is enriching uranium at its underground Fordow site and rapidly accelerating enrichment more broadly, a report by the U.N. atomic watchdog found earlier on Monday.
Iran enriching at Fordow, IAEA confirms, as enriched uranium stock grows
Iran enriching at Fordow, IAEA confirms, as enriched uranium stock growsIran is breaching the deal's limits on its nuclear activities step by step in response to Washington's withdrawal from the accord last year and its renewed sanctions on Tehran. Tehran says it can quickly undo those breaches if Washington lifts its sanctions.
It is the latest in a series of steps through which it has overstepped the limits of the 2015 pact, in response to the United States withdrawing from the accord and reimposing sanctions.
"We stand ready to continue our diplomatic efforts to create the conditions for, and to facilitate, the de-escalation of tensions in the Middle East," the E3 countries said.
"These efforts are however made increasingly difficult by Iran's latest actions."
France, Britain and Germany also called on Iran to comply fully with the international atomic watchdog after one of its inspectors was detained in October.
Iran briefly held an inspector working for the International Atomic Energy Agency and seized her travel documents, diplomats told Reuters last week, in what appeared to be the first incident of its kind since the 2015 pact.
(Reporting by John Irish; Editing by Sarah White and Lisa Shumaker)
U.S.'s Pompeo says Iran's latest nuclear steps raise concern .
U.S.'s Pompeo says Iran's latest nuclear steps raise concern"Iran's expansion of proliferation-sensitive activities raises concerns that Iran is positioning itself to have the option of a rapid nuclear breakout," Pompeo said in a statement.