A series of widely reported attacks on targets in Iran and Iranian ships that were attributed to Israel reached a peak with the explosion at the nuclear facility in Natanz. Iran’s response was not slow to come this time. Tehran announced that it had begun enriching uranium to a purity of 60 percent, triple its previous level and approaching the level needed to produce a nuclear bomb. That, at a time when U.S. President Joe Biden is putting great effort into indirect negotiations aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear agreement.
In addition, some American and Israeli officials, and international security analysts, say that Iran may believe that President Trump will lose the November election and that his presumptive Democratic rival, Joseph R. Biden Jr., will want to resurrect some form of the negotiated settlement that the Obama administration reached with Tehran five years ago next week.
The Times also said that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo maintains a close relationship with Mossad chief Yossi Cohen, making it unlikely that Pompeo was unaware of the plan to attack the Natanz nuclear facility – if it was indeed an Israeli-engineered operation.
On Tuesday, the three European signatories to the Iran deal — France, Britain and Germany — formally triggered the dispute mechanism, which accuses Iran of violating the agreement and could lead to the restoration of the anti-Iran UN sanctions that had been lifted by the JCPOA.
Tehran has particularly been disappointed with the European trio’s failure to protect its business interests under the deal after the United States‘ withdrawal.
After patiently watching for more than a year and seeing no clear action from the other signatories of the nuclear deal, Iran invoked Articles 26 and 36 of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to let go of some of the limitations put on its nuclear work.
Since May 2018, we have worked together to preserve the agreement. The E3 have fully upheld our JCPoA commitments, including sanctions-lifting as foreseen under the terms of the agreement. In addition to the lifting of all sanctions, required by our commitments under the agreement, we have worked tirelessly to support legitimate trade with Iran, including through the INSTEX special purpose vehicle.
Germany, France and the United Kingdom moved on Tuesday to formally sanction Iran over claims that Tehran has violated the 2015 nuclear agreement.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the United States knows it cannot bring the Islamic Republic to its knees through its maximum pressure policy.
Lavrov made the comments on December 30 after meeting in Moscow with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who said that the European signatories to the deal were „not taking any practical steps“ to support it.
France, Germany and the United Kingdom said in a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres circulated Wednesday that Iran was developing „nuclear-capable ballistic missiles,“ which they say is in violation of a Securiy Council resolution endorsing the 2015 nuclear deal.
The letter cites footage released on social media April 22, 2019, ..
VIENNA—European powers will take the first step towards re-imposing international sanctions on Iran in the coming weeks if Tehran further violates the 2015 nuclear deal, diplomats said.
The warning, an escalation of European pressure on Iran, puts the two sides on a collision course. A conflict is likely in early January, when Iran is set to announce fresh steps to breach the deal.
„Atomkraft ist auf den Rohstoff Uran angewiesen“, sagt Makoma Lekalakala aus Südafrika, Trägerin des Goldmann Umweltpreises. „Urangewinnung und der Bau von Atomkraftwerken verletzen oft grundlegende Menschenrechte, insbesondere die Rechte indigener Völker und Gemeinschaften. Mein Kontinent Afrika und seine Bevölkerung haben genug unter den gesundheitlichen Folgen des Uranbergbaus gelitten. Die Arbeiter der Shinkolobwe Mine im Kongo, die das Uran für die Atombomben in Hiroshima und Nagasaki schürften. Die Arbeiter und die Bevölkerung des Niger, die für die französische Atomindustrie ihre Gesundheit opferten. Auch in Südafrika wurde die Bevölkerung durch den Uranbergbau vergiftet und verstrahlt, durch die toxischen und radioaktiven Hinterlassenschaften des Uranabbaus“, so Lekalakala.
Rohani added that he will offer a regional peace plan during his visit to the UN this week. Fears of a wider regional conflagration have grown, as tensions between Iran and the U.S. remain high over Tehran’s failing 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. Recently, Iran has broken the deal’s limits on enrichment, uranium stockpiles and the use of advanced centrifuges, as ot seeks to pressure Europe to offer it a way to sell its crude oil on the international market despite U.S. sanctions.
Perry did not say where he would meet Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, who took over from Khalid al-Falih on Sunday. But a US official said the meeting would likely take place on the sidelines of an International Atomic Energy Agency meeting in Vienna next week.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The Latest on tensions in the Persian Gulf region between the U.S. and Iran (all times local):
The United Nations’ nuclear watchdog says it has inspectors on the ground in Iran who will be able to look into reports that Tehran began injecting uranium gas into advanced centrifuges in violation of its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
Chairman Cummings issued the following statement:
“Today’s report reveals new and extensive evidence that corroborates Committee whistleblowers and exposes how corporate and foreign interests are using their unique access to advocate for the transfer of U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia. The American people deserve to know the facts about whether the White House is willing to place the potential profits of the President’s personal friends above the national security of the American people and the universal objective of preventing the spread of nuclear weapons.”
The Committee’s second interim report is based on more than 60,000 pages of new documents produced to the Committee in response to requests that Chairman Cummings made to a host of outside companies about their involvement with plans to transfer U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia. The report states:
New documents and communications show that IP3, the private company lobbying the White House to transfer U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia, repeatedly sought a $120 million investment from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. It is unclear if the company ultimately received the investment.
The paradox of the current GOP administration in power is that while Donald Trump gets up at the podium and brays “America First” he and his son-in-law and other minions can’t sell out our interests to foreign powers fast enough.
Thomas Barrack Jr., a top fundraiser and confidant of President Donald Trump, urged the administration to sell Saudi Arabia nuclear technology without restrictions designed to prevent the kingdom from developing nuclear weapons, according to a report released by House Democrats Monday.
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, offers Iran relief from sanctions in exchange for its scaling back of parts of its nuclear program until 2025.
The United States, which under former President Barack Obama was the driving force behind the deal, pulled out last year under President Donald Trump and snapped back sanctions on Iran and third parties that do business with the Islamic Republit.
Ahead of the foreign affairs council on Monday 15 July, the foreign ministers of the UK, France, and Germany issued a joint statement calling for dialogue between all parties involved.
We express deep concern that Iran is not meeting several of its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
Iran has stated that it wants to remain within the JCPoA.
It must act accordingly by reversing these activities and returning to full JCPoA compliance without delay.
These compliance issues must be addressed within the framework of the JCPoA, and a Joint Commission should be convened urgently.
Iran has officially announced that it will not abide by the enrichment limit of 3.67 percent any more.
„Based on the decisions made at the first phase, the fuel required for the country’s power plants is being supplied, and the purity of the enriched uranium will increase based on the orders,“ he added.
The amount of the uranium stock is increasing based on the first phase of measures, with a higher speed, he said adding that the new decisions will follow.
„The procedure may end in Iran’s withdrawal from the deal, which is not what we want; but the sanctions of the US and lack of commitment by the other parties have led to it,“ said Araqchi elaborating on reducing Iranian commitments to the JCPOA.
He added that the move, of course, is in a way that there is chance for …
Speaking to Mehr correspondent on Saturday, Mojtaba Zonnour, chairman of the Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, said “we have done nothing in violation of the JCPOA. It was the US which caused the increase in our enriched uranium stockpile by banning its exports.”
“The US has also banned the export of Iran’s heavy water, which has also caused an increase in our heavy water reserves,” he added.
U.S. Ambassador to International Organizations in Vienna Jackie Wolcott requested a special meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Board of Governors to discuss a report on Iran’s nuclear program, according to a U.S. mission statement.
„The international community must hold Iran’s regime accountable,“ the statement said.
Mr. Rouhani has said that Iran would gradually stop complying with the restrictions if the European nations failed to provide some relief from the economic pain within two months of the latest constriction of the American sanctions — a deadline that falls on Sunday.
Iran was to sell off any enriched uranium above the limit on international markets in return for natural uranium.
Now, however, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States would start to impose sanctions on anyone involved in the trade of natural for enriched uranium — as well as in the storage of Iranian heavy water that was in excess of limits.
The ministry expects the establishment of the Joint Research Centre to lay the foundation for long-term research cooperation with Saudi Arabia and the development of domestic nuclear energy technology.
During the meeting, the two countries agreed on technical cooperation to support the creation and licensing of a small smart nuclear reactor and the development of the next generation of SMART.
Precisly for that reason, the enrichment provision in the 2011 Saudi-South Korean agreement is of vital: “Uranium transferred pursuant to this Agreement or used in any equipment so transferred shall not be enriched to twenty (20) percent or more in the isotope U-235 unless the Parties otherwise agree.” In other words, the agreement permits KSA to build enrichment facilities generally, and in particular the enrichment to 20% of uranium supplied. The reason this is worrying and eerily reminiscent of the Iran deal, is its counter intuitive nature. To go past 20% enrichment to a bomb explosive level, it takes one-tenth of the work it took to get to 20%. It is especially worrying when the Saudi prince states that if Iran got a bomb, the Kingdom would too, “as soon as possible.”