Iran begins uranium enrichment in a week of negotiations on a new nuclear deal

Iran begins uranium enrichment in a week of negotiations on a new nuclear deal
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in 2018.Photo by AFP photo

This was shown on Iranian state television on Saturday, with centrifuges running under the watchful eyes of President Hassan Rouhani. The timing of this new violation is staggering: This week, negotiations began on a new nuclear deal between Iran and five other countries.

It consists of 164 IR-6 centrifuges and thirty IR-5 centrifuges. Evolution is not entirely surprising; The International Atomic Energy Agency said earlier this month that Iran had begun enriching uranium with a new type of nuclear centrifuge.

Negotiation

This is not the first time that Iran has not abided by the agreement, which has stalled since the US withdrew from it in 2018. President Rouhani, for example, has injected uranium gas into centrifuges several times in recent years.

Relations between Iran and the United States deteriorated further in 2020, when the US military killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani. Since then, Iran has appeared less enthusiastic to respect the nuclear deal.

This week, negotiations took place in Vienna with Iran, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, China and Russia. The last five are trying to revive the agreement after the abolition of the United States and Iranian violations.

The European Union’s diplomatic service, which coordinates the talks, said that direct talks between Iran and the United States were not yet imminent, but that negotiations were progressing “constructively.” Talks will intensify next week.

Privileges

Recently, Tehran has become less and less concerned about the restrictions imposed on its nuclear program by international treaties. With this, it appears that the state wants to pressure US President Joe Biden to make concessions upon the conclusion of a new nuclear deal.

Biden wants to join the nuclear deal again, but the United States only wants to lift the sanctions imposed on Iran if that country suspends further uranium enrichment, as agreed upon in the agreement. But Tehran is calling on Washington to take the first step.

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