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Iran’s Most Brazen Violation Of The Nuclear Deal So Far

The United Nations' nuclear watchdog says its monitors have detected uranium particles at an undeclared site in Iran.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) does not identify the site in a confidential quarterly report distributed to IAEA member states and seen by Western news agencies on November 11.

Israel has accused Iran of conducting atomic activities at an undeclared site on the outskirts of Tehran.

The IAEA report also says Iran's stockpiles of low-enriched uranium are still growing in violation of the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, and confirms that the country is now enriching uranium at its Fordow nuclear facility, which is also prohibited by the nuclear agreement.

Tehran has gradually reduced some of its commitments under its nuclear agreement since the United States in May 2018 withdrew from the accord that gave Iran access to world trade in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program, and started reimposing crippling sanctions on the Iranian economy.

Iranian officials complain that the remaining parties to the deal have failed to mitigate the effects of the U.S. sanctions. They have said that all of the steps his country had taken to reduce its commitments to the nuclear pact were "reversible."

Iran Appeal To Hard-Liners

Earlier on November 11, Iranian President Hassan Rohani, in a thinly veiled appeal to hard-liners, said staying in the nuclear deal will allow Tehran to restart weapons sales and purchases abroad.

In an address in southwestern Iran, Rohani said that "by continuing the nuclear deal, we will reach a huge political, defensive, and security goal."

"If we save the nuclear deal, Iran's arms embargo will be lifted and we can buy weapons or sell our weapons to the world," he said.

Related: Saudi Arabia Bullies Ultra-Rich Into Buying Aramco Stock

Rohani has been pushing the remaining signatories to the nuclear agreement to fully implement its terms, while hard-liners at home, angry over the U.S. sanctions and their perceptions that Europe has failed to do meaningful business with Iran, have increasingly sought to move away from it.

One of the terms of the deal is that a United Nations-imposed arms embargo on Iran will be lifted in October 2020, which Rohani said is one of the deal’s “significant impacts.”

Under its agreement with world powers, Iran also is allowed to operate restricted quantities of first-generation centrifuges.

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"We see with growing concern that uranium enrichment continues and Iran has not only announced it but it goes on with it," German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told reporters on November 11, adding that he would meet with his British and French counterparts to discuss how to react to the situation.

Trump wants to force Iran to renegotiate the 2015 accord, arguing that the terms were not tough enough to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, and agree curbs to its ballistic-missile program.

Iran has refused, insisting that its nuclear program was strictly for civilian energy purposes.

By RFE/RL

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on November 11 2019 said:
    It is very rich to talk about Iran’s most brazen violation of the nuclear deal when the actual brazen violation was committed by the Trump administration when it walked away in 2016 from the nuclear deal which was endorsed by the UN Security Council.

    Iran was totally committed to abide by the terms of the nuclear deal until the remaining parties to the deal, principally the UK, France and Germany (the European Union) have failed to mitigate the effects of the U.S. sanctions against it. From thereon, Iran has started to gradually reduce some of its commitments with regard to enriching uranium under the nuclear deal but Tehran has also said that all of the steps it had taken so far are reversible.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London

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