Iran to start using centrifuges at Fordow plant
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced that Tehran will start injecting uranium gas into 1,044 centrifuges on November 6.
He stressed that the signatories to the 2015 Nuclear Agreement have to implement the deal within two months to stop Tehran from suspending its obligations under the accord.
The Iranian president also noted that all the decisions taken by Iran are reversible, underscoring that the nation will comply with the nuclear deal if the other parties to the accord do the same, Sputnik reported.
This is yet another step taken by Iran since May when the country stated it would stop complying with some of the pact's restrictions, urging European countries to shield Tehran from unilateral U.S. sanctions.
Senior research fellow of the Institute for Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladimir Sazhin, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that the launch of more than a thousand centrifuges at Fordow directly violates the JCPOA. "In accordance with the JCPOA, this enterprise should have been reformed into a research center for the production of peaceful isotopes without uranium enrichment technologies. It’s clear that President Rouhani’s statement was made in order to encourage, first of all, the UK, France and Germany to be more active in sanctions-busting. It is still difficult to say how realistic and effective it will be," he noted.
"In my opinion, Europeans can do little. Even if European politicians, diplomats and statesmen really want to help Iran, no company wants to fall under U.S. sanctions. Using the INTEX mechanism, Western countries had to sell or export Iranian oil, but it didn’t go further than medicines, food and humanitarian goods - and these goods are not under U.S. sanctions. European business is not interested in facilitating Iran's oil and foreign exchange operations, since the risk of getting under sanctions has not disappeared," Vladimir Sazhin pointed out.
"It’s a pity that French President Macron’s idea to launch a $15bn credit line to Iran for export-import operations and allow Tehran to sell oil up to 700 thousand barrels per day is in limbo now. Macron’s plan was rather actively discussed until Iran was accused of attacking Saudi oil facilities. Now many officials in the West have taken a different position," the Senior research fellow of the Institute for Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences said.
The expert stressed that Iran continues to withdraw from the JCPOA in small steps in order not to destroy the deal. "It seems to me that the Iranians are waiting for the outcome of the U.S. presidential election in November 2020. Iran certainly will not radically violate the JCPOA before the new owner of the White House is elected. Iranians hope Trump will lose. Of course, the Democrats won’t go over to Tehran’s full support, but at least they signed a nuclear deal under Barack Obama, so now all hopes are focused on them," Vladimir Sazhin concluded.