Iran Exceeds Uranium Enrichment Limit, EU Against War
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
According to JCPOA and Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty provisions, Iran is legally entitled to increase its uranium enrichment beyond limits it voluntarily agreed to observe.
Thirty-one countries have nuclear power plants, operating around 450 reactors. Over 50 nations have about 225 nuclear research reactors, used as well to produce medical and industrial isotopes, as well as for other legitimate purposes.
Nuclear-armed North Korean and nuclear weapons-free Iran are the only nations criticized for their operations — both nations at peace with their neighbors, threatening none, unlike most others with nuclear power plants or intending to build them.
According to World Nuclear News, "Middle East nuclear power (is expected) to quadruple in ten years" — a bonanza for firms in the US and elsewhere involved in constructing these facilities.
ME countries with or planning nuclear power operations include Israel (the only one with nukes), Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Iran, Jordan, Egypt, Qatar, and Algeria, among others.
Except for nonbelligerent Iran, none are criticized for having or intending to construct these facilities.
According to Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Monday, his nation "surpassed the 300kg (low-uranium enrichment) limit, and we had already announced" an intention to exceed it, adding:
"(W)e have said very clearly what we are doing and consider this as part of our rights as per the JCPOA."
President Rouhani, Zarif, and other Iranian officials said uranium enrichment would increase because Britain, France, Germany, and the EU breached their JCPOA commitments.
"(M)easures taken by Europeans have not been sufficient, and as the Islamic Republic had announced, we will implement the second stage of reducing our commitments."
"The first stage is going on both with regard to (enriched) uranium stocks and heavy water stocks, and the next stage has been announced and will be implemented," Zarif explained.
If European countries fulfill their JCPOA obligations as required, Iran will reduce the amount of uranium it enriches, so far not exceeding a 3.67 level.
It may be increased to a 20% level if European breaches continue, way below a 90% level required to produce nukes. The IAEA is kept fully informed on this issue, a statement saying:
"We are aware of the media reports related to Iran's stockpile of low-enriched uranium (LEU). Our inspectors are on the ground and they will report to headquarters as soon as the LEU stockpile has been verified."
Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi said increased enrichment will cease if Europe fulfills its JCPOA obligations.
"(A)nother step (will be taken) if its demands (as required under the agreement) are not met," he added.
Separately, the Trump regime is struggling to enlist coalition partners for war on Iran. Most Dems, some Republicans, and cautious Pentagon commanders oppose attacking a nation able to hit back hard.
Virtually always when the US has gone to war since the 1990s, NATO nations have gone along with it.
Except for Britain, attached to the US hip for naked aggression, other key NATO nations oppose attacking Iran militarily, based on remarks by its officials.
Germany's Angela Merkel and France's Emmanuel Macron called for resolving US differences with Iran diplomatically.
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said "(w)e are living in crucial and delicate moments, where the most relevant attitude to take — the most responsible attitude to take — is, and we believe should be, maximum restraint, and avoiding any escalation on the military side."
Recent polls show most Americans oppose war on Iran. A late June Hill-HarrisX survey found only 19% of respondents favor the limited strike on Iranian targets Trump OK'd and then decided otherwise. Only 5% support more aggressive war.
The vast majority of Americans know nothing more about Iran than rubbish fed them by establishment media.
They're unaware that Iran shuns nukes and hasn't attacked another country in centuries -what the US and its imperial partners do repeatedly.
Israel, the Saudis and UAE support US aggression on Iran. As long as NATO opposes it, Trump will be hard-pressed to go this far, a hopeful sign amid countless dismal ones.
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