Uranium production – Moscow calls on Iran to “hold back”

Russia has expressed concern as Tehran has started producing uranium metal to fuel its nuclear research reactor.

Tehran has started producing uranium metal to fuel its nuclear research reactor.

Keystone

Moscow on Thursday called on Tehran for “restraint” after the start of the production of uranium metal to supply the Iranian research reactor, another violation of its commitments of the 2015 agreement.

The Iran nuclear deal has threatened to shatter since Donald Trump pulled the United States out of it in 2018 before reinstating economic sanctions. In response, Tehran has gradually freed itself since 2019 from most of its commitments.

“If we understand the logic and the reasons behind Iran, it is necessary to show restraint and a responsible approach,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Ria Novosti told news agency, Sergei Riabkov.

“This does not encourage optimism”, added the Russian minister who considers that the Iranian decision shows “the will of Tehran not to accept the status quo”.

Save the deal?

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced Wednesday evening that Iran had started production of uranium metal to fuel its nuclear research reactor.

However, the Common Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed in 2015 by Iran and six major powers (China, United States, France, United Kingdom, Russia and Germany), includes a 15-year ban on concerns “the production or acquisition of plutonium or uranium metals or their alloys”.

The subject is sensitive as the arrival of Joe Biden at the White House gives hope for a resumption of dialogue allowing the agreement to be saved.

But Tehran and Washington both call on the other side to take the first step towards a real resumption of dialogue.

Sergei Riabkov, for his part, called on the United States to “lift the sanctions taken against Tehran” and “not to drag things out”.

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