European countries express concern about Iranian plan for further uranium enrichment

The United Kingdom, France and Germany have expressed their โ€œgreat concernโ€ about Irans plans to enrich uranium to 60% purity.

โ€œ This is a serious development because the production of highly enriched uranium is an important step towards the production of an atomic weapon,โ€ the three countries say in a joint statement. Iran would have no credible civilian reason to enrich uranium to this level.

Cyberattack Natanz

Iran announced its decision yesterday. President Rohani said it was a response to nuclear terrorism on the part of archrival Israel. Hes holding that country responsible for the power outages this weekend at the Natanz nuclear plant.

According to Israeli media, the malfunction is the result of a cyber attack carried out by the Israeli Secret Service Mossad. In doing so, the Iranian nuclear programme would have been seriously damaged. The Israeli Government neither confirms nor denies the accusation.

Rohani called the decision a response to Israels โ€œevilnessโ€. That country would seek to sabotage the negotiations on a new nuclear agreement.

He also said that the centrifuges damaged during the attack in Natanz are being replaced by more modern centrifuges. This could speed up the enrichment process.

3.67 percent

In the 2015 Atomic Agreement concluded by Iran with France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the US, Russia and China, it was agreed that Iran should enrich uranium only for scientific and economic purposes. For that, an enrichment of 3.67 percent was enough. In return, economic sanctions against Iran would be lifted.

In 2018, the US withdrew its support for the agreement. According to the then President Trump, the deal enabled Iran to continue developing a nuclear weapon. Iran withdrew from the agreement itself last year.

Negotiations are under way at the International Atomic Agency in Vienna to revive the agreement. President Biden is in favour of this, Israel is against it.