In a joint statement, the three countries “condemn Iran’s latest measures, confirmed by the IAEA, aimed at a further expansion of its nuclear program”.
The IAEA has confirmed that Iran has started producing 60% enriched uranium at the Fordo underground fuel plant, in addition to its production started at Natanz since April 2021.
By increasing its production capacities, Tehran “has taken significant new steps which empty” the 2015 Iranian nuclear agreement “of its content”, believe the British, French and German governments.
“Iran’s decision to increase its production of highly enriched uranium at the Fordo underground enrichment site is particularly worrying”, consider the three countries, for whom this is a “challenge for the international non-proliferation system”.
This measure, which presents “significant proliferation risks, has no credible civilian justification”, they continue.
“The presentation of this escalation as a reaction to the adoption by the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency of a resolution calling for Iran’s cooperation on safeguards is unacceptable”, believe the three European capitals, recalling that “Iran has a legal obligation under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons to fully implement its safeguards agreement”.
“We will continue to consult with our international partners on how to respond to Iran’s continued nuclear escalation,” conclude London, Paris and Berlin.
Last year, Iran announced that it had started producing 60% enriched uranium at the Natanz site (center), approaching the 90% needed to produce an atomic bomb.
This 60% threshold greatly exceeds that of 3.67% set by the 2015 agreement between Tehran and the major powers aimed at preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.