Tehran has announced that it is escalating its nuclear programme, putting back on stream a reactor that can produce weapons-grade plutonium. Abbas Araqchi, Iran’s deputy foreign minister and nuclear negotiator, said that the talks yesterday in Vienna intended to salvage the international nuclear agreement had again failed to produce a breakthrough. “As we have said, we will continue to reduce our commitments to the deal until Europeans secure Iran’s interests under the deal,” he said. Iran stopped complying in May with some commitments in the nuclear deal struck by President Obama and President Rouhani in January 2015, after the US unilaterally withdrew from the accord last year and reintroduced sanctions on Tehran. Hours earlier Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation, had announced that Tehran would reactivate the Arak heavy water nuclear reactor, which can convert spent nuclear fuel to plutonium used in nuclear warheads. The move will mark a serious increase in Iran’s nuclear capacity. Iran wants Europe to push the US to reverse its mounting sanctions, after which Tehran says it will return to the obligations imposed on it by the deal.
Times 29th July 2019 read more »