Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Iran: Khamenei threatens to raise uranium enrichment level to 60%


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London – “Al-Quds Al-Arabi” – and agencies: The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic, Ali Khamenei, confirmed, yesterday, Monday, that Iran may raise the level of uranium enrichment from 20% currently to 60% if it needs to, and that it will “not back down” in the nuclear field. Khamenei said: “We are determined to possess nuclear capabilities in line with the country’s needs, and therefore Iran’s ceiling for enrichment will not be 20%, and we will act (up to) whatever level we need and the country requires, for example for the sake of the nuclear engine or other works. We can go to Enrichment rate of 60%, ”according to a statement published on his official website.
Meanwhile, the Iranian government believed, yesterday, Monday, that the visit of the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency to Tehran led to an “important achievement”, on the eve of the entry into force of a parliamentary law limiting inspections, while Parliament considered it an insult to him.
Prior to the end of the deadline, the Director General of the International Agency, Rafael Grossi, arrived in Tehran on Saturday, and met the head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization, Ali Akbar Salehi, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Muhammad Javad Zarif, and returned to Vienna on Sunday night announcing that a technical agreement had been reached that would allow the continuation of some inspections for a period of up to three months. .
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said that the Grossi meetings led to the achievement of “a very important diplomatic achievement and a very important technical achievement” for the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization. He added in a press conference on Monday: “Not only has the voluntary implementation of the additional protocol (annexed to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons) suspended, but all that has been agreed upon now is within the framework of the Iranian Shura Council law.
On the other hand, Iranian lawmakers protested, on Monday, the government’s decision to agree with the International Atomic Energy Agency, saying the decision violated a law that ends this week’s surprise inspection by the agency. “The government has no right to decide and act arbitrarily,” said Mojtaba Dhul-Nur, head of the National Security Committee in the Iranian parliament, according to official media. He added, “This arrangement is an insult to Parliament.”
Iranian authorities said that although the new agreement will keep the number of international inspectors the same, Tehran will withhold images captured by surveillance cameras in some of its facilities from the agency for the time being. Iran has not identified any cameras at any facilities, but the Additional Protocol generally broadens the agency’s surveillance to include activities such as uranium mining. Kazem Gharibabadi, Iran’s envoy to the agency, wrote on Twitter that if the United States lifted sanctions within the three-month period, Iran would allow the data to be shared with the agency. He added, “If not, Tehran will destroy the data forever.”
On Sunday, Grossi hinted that the interim agreement paves the way for political discussions that may lead to resolving the tension between Tehran and Washington, over who will take the first step in preparation for the revival of the nuclear deal. He believed that the agreement: “a good and logical result” after “very intensive consultations” with Iranian officials, and opens the way for “conducting political discussions at other levels, and most importantly of all avoiding a situation in which we might, in practical terms, walk in a different way.” Hoda, “at the level of inspection. On Monday, Moscow welcomed the agreement reached by Tehran and the international agency.” In a statement, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Tehran and the IAEA had made “a positive and tangible contribution in providing conditions for the start of substantive talks between the current participants in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and the United States regarding Washington’s return to the nuclear deal.”



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