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European ministers voice growing fear of Iran nuclear program

The foreign ministries of Germany, Britain and France indicated their increasing concern about a possible military dimension to Iran's nuclear program on Thursday.

Berlin, 19 August 2021 (dpa/MIA) — The foreign ministries of Germany, Britain and France indicated their increasing concern about a possible military dimension to Iran’s nuclear program on Thursday.

The concern follows a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which concluded that Iran has expanded its production of almost weapons-grade uranium and has also produced uranium metal for the first time.

“Both are crucial steps towards the development of a nuclear weapon and Iran has no credible civilian need for these measures,” the ministry spokespersons said.

They said the nuclear activities in question were a “grave violation” of the Iran nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, and must end immediately. Iran originally signed the deal in 2015 with the three European powers as well as the United States, Russia and China.

Washington withdrew from the deal in 2018 under then-president Donald Trump and reinstated previously lifted economic sanctions against Tehran. A year later, Tehran began gradually ignoring the agreed restrictions on its nuclear program.

Diplomatic mediation attempts between Washington and Tehran to save the nuclear deal have been underway in Vienna since April. However, the talks have been suspended for two months as the Iranian presidency passed from the moderate Hassan Rowhani to hardliner Ebrahim Raisi.

Iran has still not agreed to a new date to return to the talks, the European foreign ministries said. The latest developments in Iran’s nuclear industry would “make a return to the JCPOA more difficult,” they warned.

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