A U.N. watchdog report shows Iran’s Islamic regime is being inconsistent in meeting its nuclear obligations, JCPOA signatories the United States, Britain, France, and Germany said in a joint statement on Feb. 3.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) criticized Tehran on Feb. 1 for making an undeclared change to the interconnection between the two clusters of advanced machines enriching uranium to up to 60 percent purity—close to weapons grade—at its Fordow plant.
Tehran said the IAEA’s position on its nuclear work was not correct.
The IAEA found the change during an unannounced inspection on Jan. 21 at the Fordow Fuel enrichment Plant (FFEP), a site dug into a mountain where inspectors are stepping up checks after Tehran said it would dramatically expand enrichment.
“As stated by the Agency, this unnotified change is inconsistent with Iran’s obligations under its NPT-required Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement,” the four countries said in their statement, referring to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
“The IAEA inspector’s interpretation was incorrect but he reported it to the agency … We immediately provided the explanation to the IAEA on the same day,” Iranian nuclear chief Mohammad Eslami said on Feb. 2.
The production of high-enriched uranium by Iran at Fordow carries significant proliferation-related risks and is without any credible civilian justification, the joint statement said, adding Tehran has not offered a credible answer yet to the IAEA’s outstanding questions as part of its safeguards investigation.
Fordow is so sensitive that the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal between Iran and major powers banned enrichment there.
Since the United States pulled out of the deal in 2018 and reimposed sanctions against Iran, the Islamic Republic has breached many of the deal’s restrictions on its nuclear activities.
By Kanishka Singh