Iran Officially Breached its Uranium Stockpile; Facing Increased Sanctions from U.S. and European Partners for Violating 2015 Nuclear Deal

  • A watchdog group, the International Atomic Energy Agency, stated that “Iran has breached the limit on its stockpile of low-enriched uranium set under a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.” The group confirmed that Iran has exceeded its 660 pound maximum.
  • In May, in retaliation to U.S. sanctions and the U.S. withdrawing from the 2015 deal, Iran increased its production of enriched uranium, a breach of the terms previously set.
  • The U.S., U.K. and other countries have condemned Iran for not honoring its commitments with the U.S. saying that “maximum pressure” will continue.
  • Some of Iran’s European counterparts have called the country’s breach “nuclear blackmail” since Iran wants it European partners to get U.S. sanctions lifted.
  • The U.K. called the confirmation of the breach “extremely concerning” and said “that it was urgently considering its next steps with its partners.”
  • European nations have threatened their own “multilateral sanctions” against Iran if the country doesn’t limit its activities.
  • United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric said “that such action by the Islamic Republic of Iran would not help preserve the plan, nor secure the tangible economic benefits for the Iranian people.”
  • Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif confirmed that “its stockpile of uranium enriched to 3.67% concentration – the level required for civilian nuclear power – had been breached.”
  • Zarif said: “Our next step will be enriching uranium beyond the 3.67% allowed under the deal. The Europeans have failed to fulfil their promises of protecting Iran’s interests under the deal.”
  • Zarif added: “We had previously announced this and we have said it transparently what we are going to do. We are going to act according to what we have announced and we consider it our right reserved in the nuclear deal.”
  • Tensions have only continued to increase between the U.S. and Iran since the U.S. hit Iran with fresh sanctions and Iran allegedly sabotaged several tankers in the Gulf and shot down an unmanned U.S. drone. Iran has denied all allegations.

Reference Links

  • BBC: Iran nuclear deal: Enriched uranium limit breached, IAEA confirms READ
  • The Atlantic: Iran Flirts With Leaving the Nuclear Deal READ
  • The Guardian: EU powers resist calls for Iran sanctions after breach of nuclear deal READ
  • AP: Iran breaches uranium stockpile limit set by nuclear deal READ

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