Iran possible violates JCPOA again
Samples taken by the United Nations nuclear watchdog at a facility in Tehran showed traces of uranium that Iran has yet to explain, two unnamed diplomats told Reuters news agency, although they could not say whether the materials predated the 2015 nuclear deal, or were more recent, Al Jazeera reports.
The report published on Sunday said one of the diplomatic sources, however, acknowledged that the uranium traces were not highly enriched, meaning they were not purified to a level anywhere close to that needed for weapons.
The news comes as Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif called on Cornel Feruta, acting chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency and his inspectors "to observe the principles of professional work, maintain confidentiality of activities, and keep doing its duties impartially".
The IAEA is investigating the particles' origin and has asked Iran for an explanation. Tehran has not yet responded to the IAEA's specific request for answers, according to the diplomats interviewed by Reuters, stoking more tensions between Washington and Tehran. Reuters did not identify the nationalities of the two diplomats.
As Nina Mammadova, head of the Iranian sector of the Center for the Near and Middle East Studies at the Oriental Studies Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said in an interview with Vestnik Kavkaza, the IAEA statement was the first official confirmation that Tehran has suspended part of the JCPOA.
"Despite words of the Iranian representatives, there was no definite evidence that Iran didn't really fulfill a number of conditions for a long time. Even when it comes to photos, Tehran always said that they have existed for a long time - in other words, Iran was waiting for Europe to take necessary measures and launch INSTEX. Since Europe didn’t succeed, we now have this confirmation, and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said yesterday that Europeans have only 60 days left," she said.