Iran to Move Ahead with Uranium Enrichment

- June 5th, 2018

In a televised national address on Monday, Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stated that the nation is ready to ramp up its nuclear enrichment capacity.

In a televised national address on Monday (June 4), Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stated the nation was ready to ramp up its nuclear enrichment capacity. However, he vowed to keep the enrichment within the guidelines set out by the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, for now.

Almost a month to the day since US President Trump pulled America out of the multinational pact, which saw Iran commit to strict uranium enrichment guidelines, the country’s supreme leader wants the world to know his country is willing and able to resume uranium enrichment.

Khamenei told media in his country that the government is prepared to enrich uranium to the JCPOA requirements (below 4 percent), and potentially beyond if the remaining signatories decide to follow the US and withdraw from the Obama-era pact.

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“The Iranian nation will not tolerate to be under both sanctions and nuclear restrictions,” Khamenei said on Monday, according to CNN. “The words uttered by some European states indicate that they expect the Iranian nation to both agree to comply with the nuclear deal undertakings and live under sanction.”

Despite the fact that China and some EU countries have assured Iran they have no plans to back track on the now three-year old deal, sanctions from Washington against EU countries that continue to do business with Iran are weighing heavily on the international leaders.

Upping the stakes, Khamenei told the signatory nations that the deal could not be upheld if six conditions were not met. Some of the conditions included: No questioning of Iran over its ballistic missile program or its regional activities; a guarantee that Iran’s oil will continue to be sold and a caveat for the compensation of any losses and a guarantee from European banks that financial transactions with Iran will continue uninterrupted.

In the meantime, Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, told reporters on Tuesday (June 5), that preparations were under way to build new centrifuges.

“If we were progressing normally, it would have taken six or seven years, but this will now be ready in the coming weeks and months,” Salehi said. “If the JCPOA collapses – and if we decide to assemble new centrifuges, we will assemble new-generation of centrifuges. However, for the time being, we move within the framework of the JCPOA.”

Trump’s ally, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, embarked on a three-day trip Monday, to persuade the leaders of Germany, France and the UK to also abandon the Iran nuclear deal, like the US.

After meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, during a joint press conference, the leaders agreed that Iranian influence in the region represented a threat to Israel, however, Merkel reiterated Europe’s intention to uphold the existing deal.

The spot price of uranium was up slightly on Tuesday (June 5) hitting US$22.75 per pound.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Georgia Williams, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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