In a tough statement to IAEA Board of Governors, the E3, made up of France, Germany and the UK, demanded immediate response to Iran’s 84-percent uranium enrichment.
With a list of demands to moving forward, the group said Iran must rebuild trust in the face of its deception to the IAEA, putting pressure on the regulator to go further than the US’s ‘wait and see’ approach.
“We call on Iran to fully cooperate with the Agency to provide technically credible explanations for the origin of these particles,” the group said.
While the US responded to the IAEA’s visit to Tehran with a cautious approach, waiting to see what the outcomes would be, the E3 said the enrichment at up to 83.7% U-235 is an “extremely grave escalation” which comes against the highly concerning backdrop of continued accumulation of high enriched uranium up to 60% and Iran continuing to expand its enrichment capabilities.
“There is no credible civilian justification for enrichment to this level in Iran,” said the E3 statement. "This step, along with Iran’s wider nuclear program, brings Iran dangerously close to actual weapons-related activities. This further undermines Iran’s arguments that its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes.”
Refusing to take a back seat while the IAEA continues its investigations, the E3 asserted its plans to keep pressure on the international community and demand answers after Iran’s breaking of trust.
“We will continue consultations, alongside international partners, on how best to address Iran’s unabated and dangerous nuclear escalation,” the group said. “We ask the Director General [Rafael Grossi] to keep the Board of Governors informed ahead of the June Board, and provide earlier updates as necessary, and would ask for this report to be made public.”
The US is causing frustration in the International community in its refusal to declare the JCPOA dead while it pursues the diplomatic approach after talks broke down last year. Critics say clarity is needed as Iran races to weaponization under the IAEA’s nose.
“We deeply regret that Iran did not accept the fair and balanced deal that the JCPOA Coordinator tabled in March and August last year, and instead chose to accelerate its program,” said the E3 statement, claiming Iran bears full responsibility for the deadlock.
Pushing for clear actions, the E3, represented by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office's Corinne Kitsell OBE, and Ambassador Götz Schmidt-Bremme, German Permanent Representative to the IAEA, demanded that Iran immediately stop and reverse its nuclear escalation and allow for complete transparency with the IAEA by re-applying the Additional Protocol, as an important confidence-building step.
“We also recall that, under its Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement, Iran is legally obliged to implement Modified Code 3.1. and cannot change its application or withdraw from it unilaterally.”