Thursday, June 7, 2018

Iran's decision to increase uranium enrichment capacity may push Europe to US side

Iran's decision to increase uranium enrichment capacity
Amidst controversies over the 2015 international nuclear deal, Iran's recent decision to prepare grounds for boosting enriched uranium capacity is likely to propel European vessel to the US shore.

On May 8, US President Donald Trump decided to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), claiming it did not address Iran's ballistic missile program, its nuclear activities beyond 2025, or its alleged role in regional conflicts.

Trump has called for the European hand in his defiance to the international deal, to pressure Iran for renegotiation of the deal seeking to address what he has called their "common concerns."

Currently, Iran is negotiating with the European countries on preserving the JCPOA, after the US withdrawal, aiming to salvage it interests.

Despite the US pressures, Britain, France, Germany plus the European Union, have, so far, reiterated their commitment to the Iran deal signed by six major global players with Tehran in July 2015.

However, Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Monday said that it seems "some European governments expect the Iranian nation to both put up with sanctions and give up its nuclear activities."

The Iranian leader said Iran would not tolerate sanctions nor undergo "nuclear austerity."

He ordered the head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) to immediately prepare the ground for the uranium enrichment "up to a level of 190,000 SWU (separative work units) for the time being within the framework of the nuclear deal."

SWU is the standard measure of the effort required to separate isotopes of uranium during an enrichment process. 1 SWU is equivalent to 1 kilogram of separative work.

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