Iran must refrain from new reductions to nuclear commitments: France

(File/AFP)
Updated 16 October 2019

Iran must refrain from new reductions to nuclear commitments: France

  • The French were responding to Iran saying they are working on advanced centrifuges for uranium enrichment
  • Meanwhile, another French academic was detained in Iran

PARIS: France demanded on Wednesday that Iran refrain from entering a new phase of “especially worrying” reductions to Iran’s obligations to a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
“Iran must abstain from crossing an especially worrying new phase of new measures that could contribute to an escalation in tensions,” French foreign ministry spokeswoman Agnès von der Muhll told reporters in a daily briefing.
She was responding after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday that Tehran was working on advanced IR-9 centrifuges for uranium enrichment. Those centrifuges do not appear in the 2015 accord.

Meanwhile, France’s government denounced Roland Marchal’s unexplained detention as “unacceptable,” and colleagues called Wednesday for his release.
Marchal, a sub-Saharan Africa specialist at Paris university Sciences Po, was arrested in June when he traveled to Iran to visit his romantic partner, Fariba Adelkhah, according to Sciences Po professor Richard Banegas, who has worked closely with him.
It's unclear what charges Marchal faces, but Banegas told The Associated Press that he and colleagues consider him “an academic prisoner.”


Iran dismisses ‘desperate’ US move to end nuclear waivers

Updated 28 May 2020

Iran dismisses ‘desperate’ US move to end nuclear waivers

  • ‘Ending waivers for nuclear cooperation with Iran ... has effectively no impact on Iran’s continued work’

TEHRAN: Tehran on Thursday dismissed the impact of what it called Washington’s “desperate attempt” to end sanction waivers for nations that remain in the Iran nuclear accord.
The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran said the United States had made the move in a bid “to distract public opinion from its continued defeats at the hands of Iran.”
“Ending waivers for nuclear cooperation with Iran... has effectively no impact on Iran’s continued work” on what the Islamic republic insists is a purely civilian nuclear energy program, its spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi added in a statement published on the agency’s website.
The US decision, he said, was in response to Iranian fuel shipments to Venezuela — which is also under US sanctions — and the “significant advancements of Iran’s nuclear industry.”
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday that the United States was responding to Iran’s “brinksmanship” — its scrapping of certain nuclear commitments aimed at pressuring Washington to remove sanctions as called for by the 2015 accord.
“These escalatory actions are unacceptable and I cannot justify renewing the waiver,” Pompeo said in a statement.
President Donald Trump withdrew the US from the landmark agreement — also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA — and reimposed sanctions on Iran in 2018.
The remaining parties to the deal include Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia.
In May 2019, Iran announced it was suspending nuclear commitments to the deal, starting with removing limits on its heavy water and enriched uranium stockpiles.
It was in retaliation for US sanctions and what Iran deemed Europe’s inaction to provide it with the JCPOA’s economic benefits.
Washington had until now issued waivers to allow companies, primarily from Russia, to keep carrying out the nuclear work of the agreement without risking legal ramifications in the US economy.
It will end waivers that allowed the modification of the heavy water reactor in Arak, which prevented it from using plutonium for military use, as well as the export of spent and scrap research reactor fuel.
Kamalvandi said ending the waivers would not impact Iran’s continued work on the Arak reactor and “other equipment” by Iranian experts.