Britain, France and Germany issued a joint statement and warned Iran of its decision to enrich uranium by 20 percent. In the statement, it was stated that this step of Iran puts the negotiation process, which is expected to be revived with the new administration in America, at risk.
Earlier this week, Iran announced that it was preparing to start enrichment of 20 percent uranium in its nuclear underground facility. This decision by Iran violates the rules of the nuclear agreement signed with the West in 2015 and makes it difficult for the Biden administration, which is expected to take office in the US, to return to the agreement.
In 2018, President Trump pulled the US out of the Iran nuclear deal, where Tehran pledged to restrict its uranium enrichment activities in exchange for lifting economic sanctions.
Tehran has also violated the agreement multiple times, following the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the agreement and increased sanctions on Iran. Iranian officials are promising that if the US lifts the sanctions, they will back down from these violations.
In the joint message released by the three major European countries today, “This action, which has no civil explanation and involves enormous risks based on armament, is a clear violation of Iran’s promises and has further damaged the agreement.” In the statement, it was underlined that the opportunities to improve relations between the United States and Iran, under the leadership of Democrat President Joe Biden, who will take office this month, are also at risk.
The aim of the 2015 nuclear deal was to increase the time it would need to develop sufficient fissile material from roughly two to three months to at least a year if Iran attempted to produce a nuclear bomb. However, Iran’s decision to enrich uranium by 20 percent means that this period will be shortened.
Britain, France and Germany jointly demanded Iran to immediately stop enriching uranium at 20 percent, return to the limits agreed in the nuclear agreement and refrain from escalating tensions that would undermine diplomacy.
Speaking to the Reuters news agency, a European diplomat commented that Iran’s aim is to put pressure on the Biden administration; “But if you fill the boat too much, it will sink eventually,” he said. He also said that European countries are waiting for the Biden administration to take office for the next step.