Iran’s 20% uranium enrichment not a violation of NPT: Russia

TEHRAN, Jan. 05 (MNA) – Russian Foreign Ministry showed a reaction to Iran’s enrichment of uranium up to 20 percent, stating that Iran’s 20% enrichment of uranium is not a violation of Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Russia's foreign ministry reiterates that Iran's move to increase its uranium enrichment to 20 percent is not considered a violation of NPT.

Tehran's moves to enrich uranium fuel to 20% are a deviation from the provisions of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) but this violation of obligations is not considered under Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT), Sputnik reported.

At the same time, these actions cannot be considered a violation of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, since Iran maintains transparency in everything related to its nuclear program and allows inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to monitor the peaceful application of the 20% enriched fuel, the ministry added.

"All of the uranium enriched to 20% remains under the control of the IAEA. The agency did not register its application in undeclared activities, which would violate the NPT", the Foreign Ministry statement said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry indicated that there is a "clear understanding" that the violation of the international obligations by the US became the trigger for Iran's deviation from the JCPOA, referring to Washington's introduction of economic sanctions against Iran in 2018. Moscow has condemned the US actions as a direct violation of the UN Security Council resolution that cemented Iran nuclear deal.

The spokeswoman for Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, noted that in order to reverse the damage done to the JCPOA, the US has to stop its course to undermine the international accord. Tehran, in turn, would also have to make significant reciprocal steps once Washington starts returning to the nuclear deal, the spokeswoman added.

She pointed out, however, that now Iran's return to complying with the JCPOA will be more difficult than before. Zakharova noted that Tehran will need additional efforts and will bear additional costs to make the Fordow enrichment complex compliant with the nuclear deal again.

As announced on Monday, Iran has started the process of producing uranium with 20% enrichment at the Fordow facility.

Ali Rabiei pointed to Iran’s counteractive plan to enrich uranium to up to 20% purity, saying that the gas injection process into centrifuges started “hours ago” following President Hassan Rouhani’s recent order on the implementation of the plan.

The Iranian parliament approved a bill in December aimed at the lifting of sanctions after the failure of JCPOA’s European parties to fulfil commitments and in wake of the assassination of an Iranian scientist.

MA/PR

News Code 168139

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