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EU Confirms Iran Enrichment Plan Not In JCPOA Violation

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The European Union confirmed that a "first assessment" indicated that Iran's declared intention to increase uranium enrichment capacity did not violate Tehran's commitments under a landmark nuclear agreement it signed with major world powers in 2015.

Maja Kocijancic

In this regard, spokeswoman for the European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, Maja Kocijancic, said on Tuesday that Iran's decision did not constitute a breach of the nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA].

"Following a first assessment, the announced steps per se are not a violation of the JCPOA," Kocijancic told AFP.

"However, at this particularly critical juncture, they will not contribute to build confidence in the nature of the Iranian nuclear program," she claimed.

Meanwhile, the European Union is working to save the agreement after US President Donald Trump's move to withdraw from it.

Since Trump pulled Washington out of the historic nuclear deal, European countries have been scrambling to ensure that Iran gets enough economic benefits to persuade it to stay in the deal. The remaining parties have vowed to stay in the accord.

In the same respect, the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran [AEOI] said on Tuesday that the country has begun work to prepare the infrastructure for building advanced centrifuges at its Natanz enrichment facility, while respecting its commitments under the deal.

"Yesterday, we took the first step and submitted a letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] on the start of certain activities, but we started to take the necessary practical measures today," Ali Akbar Salehi, the AEOI chief, told a press conference in Tehran.

Salehi's announcement was made less than a day after Leader of the Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei ordered the AOEI to make preparations for enrichment of uranium up to a level of 190,000SWU [separative work unit] without any delay in case of a potential collapse of the Iran deal.

Stressing that the Iranian nation and government cannot tolerate to be both sanctioned and be put in the "nuclear custody," the Imam ordered the AEOI to take rapid steps to make preparations for starting uranium enrichment "up to a level of 190,000SWU for the time being within the framework of the JCPOA" and take other preliminary steps that the president has ordered from tomorrow.

Trump announced on May 8 that Washington was walking away from the nuclear agreement, which was reached between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China - plus Germany.

He also said that he would reinstate US nuclear sanctions on Iran and impose "the highest level" of economic bans on the Islamic Republic.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team