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article imageOp-Ed: Iran denies that it is violating the nuclear agreement

By Ken Hanly     Jul 2, 2019 in Politics
Tehran - Iranian state media confirmed yesterday that the country's stockpile of low-enriched uranium has now exceeded 300 kg. This was for some time seen as the stockpile cap although Iran has often pointed out that the cap is purely voluntary at this stage.
Iranian Foreign Minister's statement
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif reiterated that the stockpile cap was voluntary, and claimed that the slight increase above the limit was not a violation of the P5 + 1 nuclear agreement. Zarif claimed that Iran had a right to revise voluntary measures subsequent to the US withdrawing from the deal
The US has withdrawn from the nuclear agreement and imposed sanctions on Iran. It is threatening EU nations and others with loss of business with the US if they do not follow the US sanctions. Unless the EU ignores the US threats and continues to trade with Iran with no sanctions as required under the agreement Iran is likely to also ditch the agreement since it is not helping them to trade and sell their oil or circumventing US extra-territorial sanctions on them.
The Iranian level of uranium enrichment nowhere near that needed for nuclear weapons
Iran only enriches uranium to 3.6 percent the level required to use as fuel for the Busher nuclear power plant. Weapons-grade uranium must be enriched to over 90 percent. Iran has never tried to do this. They could not do so under current safeguards with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) without a great deal of advanced notice.
US is the one country really concerned about Iran's move
The US already unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear treaty. Yet it is the US that keeps complaining about Iran's alleged violation of the treaty. Some US officials not only claim the Iranian stockpile increase is a violation of the nuclear treaty but a vindication of the US withdrawal from the treaty. This conveniently ignores the fact that the US withdrew long before this happened. The argument makes no sense. Trump has said that Iran is playing with fire.
The US State Department is insisting that the only acceptable move now would be for Iran to halt all enrichment of uranium. Iran is not going to do this and no country that is part of the nuclear agreement has suggested suggested a move.
US charges against Iran
US charges contradict the opinions of their own CIA among others: "The White House charge that Iran probably was in violation of the nuclear deal before and after it was reached in 2015 sharply contrasts with CIA Director Gina Haspel’s testimony in January to the Senate Intelligence Committee saying, “At the moment, technically, they are in compliance.” " Just how does Iran manage to violate an agreement that has not come into existence yet?
Daryl Kimball, the executive director of the Arms Control Association, said the White House charge was “illogical”. Kimball also noted that there was no international standard prohibiting Iran from enriching uranium as Mike Pompeo has asserted.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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