The United States expressed, Monday, August 16, its concern about the production of uranium metal by Iran, reported by the nuclear gendarme of the United Nations (UN), and urged Tehran to return to the negotiating table .

The State Department claimed that the United States had read the latest report from members of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and was of the opinion that Iran did not have “No credible need to produce uranium metal”.

The Iranian nuclear deal, concluded in 2015, offered Iran relief from Western and UN sanctions in exchange for its commitment never to acquire atomic weapons, and a drastic reduction in its nuclear program. , placed under strict UN control. Tehran thus undertook not to produce enriched uranium.

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But Iran said earlier this year that it had undertaken the search for uranium metal to provide fuel for a research nuclear reactor, a sensitive issue because the material can be used in the manufacture of nuclear weapons. The announcement came as part of a series of measures taken in violation of the 2015 nuclear deal after President Donald Trump announced the US withdrawal.

Stalled negotiations

“We have made it clear that the continuing nuclear escalation, beyond the confines of the nuclear deal, is counterproductive and incompatible with a return to mutual respect for the terms of the deal.”said State Department spokesman Ned Price. “Iran should stop its nuclear escalation and return to the negotiating table for a full and good faith establishment” of the international agreement, he added.

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President Joe Biden is in favor of a return of the United States to the agreement, convinced that it allows to manage peacefully one of the main sticking points with Tehran. But the indirect talks in Vienna, through the Europeans, saw no progress, the US government refusing to lift sanctions unrelated to the nuclear issue.

Negotiations have stalled since the inauguration in Iran at the beginning of August of the new ultra-conservative president Ebrahim Raïssi, even if the latter says he is in favor of the efforts to lift American sanctions.

The World with AFP

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