EU concerned over Iran's uranium enrichment

European Union urges Iran to reverse its activities that violate its commitments to 2015 nuclear deal.

Elad Benari ,

European Union flag
European Union flag

The European Union on Tuesday voiced concern following Iran’s announcement that it would resume uranium enrichment at the Fordow underground plant.

“We are concerned by President Rouhani’s announcement today to further reduce Iran’s commitments under the JCPOA,” EU spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic told reporters, according to AFP, using an abbreviation for the official title of the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

“We urge Iran to reverse all activities that are inconsistent with its commitments under the JCPOA and to refrain from any further measures that would undermine the preservation and full implementation of the nuclear deal,” she added.

Kocijancic said the EU remained committed to the deal but warned this depended on “full compliance” from Iran.

“High Representative Federica Mogherini said herself recently it is becoming increasingly difficult to preserve the JCPOA,” she added.

Her comments were made after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani declared that Iran would move forward quickly with gas injection at the Fordow Fuel Enrichment plant outside of the city of Qom, beginning Wednesday. A total of 1,044 centrifuges will be injected with uranium gas.

Later on Tuesday, Iran announced that it would enrich uranium to 5% at the Fordow nuclear facility, in a further violation of the 2015 nuclear deal it signed with world powers.

US President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 deal last May. Since that time, his administration has ramped up the sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

In response to the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal and its imposition of sanctions, Iran has gradually scaled back its compliance with the 2015 deal.

The three European parties to the accord – France, Britain and Germany – along with the EU diplomatic service have tried to keep Iran in the deal despite the US sanctions.

The chief of Iran's atomic agency recently blamed Europe for his country scaling back its commitments under the deal, saying their broken promises gave the Islamic Republic little choice.

EU foreign ministers will discuss the nuclear crisis along with the broader tensions in the Gulf at a regular meeting in Brussels on Monday, though no decision or formal statement on the matter is expected, according to AFP.