US, UK, France and Germany warn Iran for keeping IAEA in dark
Vienna/Washington: Concerned about an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report that Iran implemented a substantial change in the configuration of some of its centrifuges without informing the Agency in advance, the governments of France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States, today called on Iran to comply with all its legally-binding international obligations under its Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA.
“The newly reported change in configuration of centrifuge cascades used to produce near-weapons-grade uranium underscores the need for Iran to meet all its safeguards reporting obligations and to accept whatever safeguards monitoring the IAEA sees as necessary in light of Iran’s production of such highly enriched uranium,” these countries said in a joint statement today (IST). They recalled that the production of high-enriched uranium by Iran at the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant (FFEP) carries significant proliferation-related risks and was “without any credible civilian justification”.
“Iranian claims that this action was carried out in error are inadequate. We judge Iran’s actions based on the impartial and objective reports of the IAEA, not Iran’s purported intent,” the joint statement said.
On February 1, 2023, the IAEA claimed this unnotified change was inconsistent with Iran’s obligations under its [Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty] NPT-required Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement. According to the news agency Reuters, the IAEA found the change during an unannounced inspection on January 21, 2023, at the FFEP, an Iranian underground uranium enrichment facility located near Fordow village, about 32 km northeast of the Iranian city of Qom.
The IAEA reported that Iran had implemented substantial changes in the configuration of some of its centrifuges without informing the Agency in advance. These centrifuges produce up to 60 per cent of high-enriched uranium and are located at the FFEP.
Noting that such a lack of required notifications undermines the Agency’s ability to maintain timely detection at Iran’s nuclear facilities, France, Germany, the UK and the US, asked Iran to fully cooperate with the Agency in the application of effective safeguards at the FFEP.
“Iran’s actions are all the more concerning since it has stopped the implementation of its commitments on transparency and verification under the JCPOA, including implementation of its Additional Protocol, for close to two years. Iran has also offered no credible answer yet to the IAEA’s outstanding questions as part of the IAEA’s safeguards investigation, despite the adoption of two resolutions on this issue by the Board of Governors last year,” the joint statement said. [JCPOA or the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal or Iran deal, is an agreement on the Iranian nuclear program reached in Vienna on 14 July 2015, between Iran and the 5 permanent United Nations Security Council members plus Germany together with the European Union].
– global bihari bureau