US: Iran should return to negotiations on nuclear deal

United States voices alarm over IAEA report which stated that Iran is producing uranium metal.

Elad Benari ,

Iran nuclear program
Iran nuclear program

The United States on Monday voiced alarm over the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report which stated that Iran is producing uranium metal.

The State Department said the United States has seen the latest report to members by the IAEA and believed that Iran "has no credible need to produce uranium metal."

"We have made clear that continued nuclear escalations beyond JCPOA limits are unconstructive and inconsistent with a return to mutual compliance," State Department spokesman Ned Price said, using the acronym for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which is the official name for the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

"Iran should cease its nuclear escalations and return to negotiations toward full implementation of the JCPOA in good faith," he added.

The IAEA report said that Iran has made progress in its work on enriched uranium metal and had used 257 g of uranium enriched up to 20% several days ago.

Iran has gradually scaled back its compliance with the 2015 deal it signed with world powers in response to former US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement in May of 2018.

In April, the Islamic Republic announced it would begin enriching uranium to 60% purity, a move that would take the uranium much closer to the 90% suitable for a nuclear bomb.

In a report last month, the IAEA said Iran has begun the process of producing enriched uranium metal.

While Iran has scaled back its compliance with the 2015 deal, it has been holding indirect talks with the Biden administration on a return to the agreement.

However, Iran recently paused the talks and announced they will not resume before the new government takes office.

The new government is headed by hardline President Ebrahim Raisi, who was sworn in as president of Iran earlier this month and vowed to bring an end to US sanctions on the Islamic Republic, denouncing the sanctions as “illegal”.