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Iran Partly Pulls Out of Landmark Nuclear Deal, Will Increase Nuclear Fuel Stockpile

May 8, 2019 Peace and Conflict

Radiation Warning Symbol. Public Domain.

The Iranians on Wednesday announced that they were suspending some of their commitments under the nuclear deal with the major world powers in response to what they considered a failure by Europe to compensate Iran for the renewed sanctions by the United States, according a report by Iran’s PressTV. The US withdrew from the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), last year, reinstituted sanctions and recently ramped up sanctions on Iranian oil exports even further in an effort to curb malignant Iranian behavior.

In response, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani informed via letter the remaining partners to the JCPOA—the United Kingdom, France, Germany, China and Russia—that they were backing off their agreement to limit the size of their low-enriched nuclear fuel and heavy water stockpiles. This came in response to what Rouhani said was a failure by Europe to fulfill their promises to take practical steps to uphold Iran’s economic benefits under the JCPOA in the face of American sanctions.

The US warned Iran’s steps move it closer to a nuclear weapon capability.

“The Iranian regime’s announcement today that it intends to expand its nuclear program is in defiance of international norms and a blatant attempt to hold the world hostage,” said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a statement from the State Department.

“Its threat to renew nuclear work that could shorten the time to develop a nuclear weapon underscores the continuing challenge the Iranian regime poses to peace and security worldwide.”

The Iranians are planning to further withdraw from the nuclear deal commitments if steps are not made by the JCPOA partners that meet Iran’s demands. Resuming development of the Arak Heavy Water Reactor is one of the threatened measures in the next stage, according to PressTV.

Nuclear fuel and heavy water reactors can be used in civilian programs, but can also be used to develop nuclear weapons if wielded correctly.

The same day that Iran made their announcement, but apparently unrelated, US President Donald Trump declared additional sanctions on Iranian goods—including aluminum and steel. A press release from the White House website quoted Trump as saying US sanctions on Iran are making a real impact.

“Because of our action, the Iranian regime is struggling to fund its campaign of violent terror, as its economy heads into an unprecedented depression, government revenue dries up, and inflation spirals out of control. We are successfully imposing the most powerful maximum pressure campaign ever witnessed, which today’s action will further strengthen,” said Trump.

Despite intensifying sanctions, and threatening more, Trump said he ultimately wants to negotiate a new deal with Iran.

“Tehran can expect further actions unless it fundamentally alters its conduct. Since our exit from the Iran deal, which is broken beyond repair, the United States has put forward 12 conditions that offer the basis of a comprehensive agreement with Iran,” said Trump.

“I look forward to someday meeting with the leaders of Iran in order to work out an agreement and, very importantly, taking steps to give Iran the future it deserves.”

(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, May 8, 2019)

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