A spokesperson for the European Union’s foreign policy chief said the new steps that Iran has announced will take to increase its uranium enrichment capacity do not violate the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Maja Kocijancic, a spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, said on Tuesday that a first assessment indicated the new steps announced by Iran did not constitute a violation of the 2015 nuclear agreement between Tehran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany).
“However, at this particularly critical juncture, they will not contribute to build confidence in the nature of the Iranian nuclear program,” Kocijancic told AFP.
“As stated repeatedly, we expect Iran to stick to all its JCPOA commitments, to be monitored by the IAEA, as it has been doing so far and has been confirmed by the IAEA in 11 consecutive reports,” she said.
“The IAEA is the only body in charge of the monitoring and verification of the implementation by Iran of its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA,” the spokeswoman added.
Her comments came after 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 the Natanz enrichment facility, while respecting its commitments under the JCPOA.
The decision followed a speech by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, who ordered the AOEI to make preparations for enrichment of uranium up to a level of 190,000 SWUs (separative work units) without any delay in case of a potential collapse of the JCPOA.
On May 8, the US president pulled his country out of the JCPOA, which was achieved in Vienna in 2015 after years of negotiations among Iran and the Group 5+1.
Following the US exit, Iran and the remaining parties have launched talks to save the accord.
Meanwhile, Ayatollah Khamenei has underlined that any decision to keep the JCPOA running without the US should be conditional on “practical guarantees” from the Europeans.