By Sena Guler
ANKARA (AA) – A joint statement by some European countries voiced Monday “extreme concern” over Iran’s latest move to restart enriching uranium at an underground facility.
“The Foreign Ministers of France, Germany and the United Kingdom and the High Representative of the European Union are extremely concerned by the latest announcements that Iran is restarting uranium enrichment activities at the Fordow facility,” the statement said following the report of a UN nuclear watchdog.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed the move in a report earlier on Monday.
On Nov. 6, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced that his country was beginning injecting gas to 1,044 centrifuges at its Fordow nuclear facility.
“Iran’s action is inconsistent with the JCPoA’s [the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] clear provisions on Fordow and has potentially severe proliferation implications,” the statement said, referring to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
“It represents a regrettable acceleration of Iran’s disengagement from commitments under the JCPoA,” it added.
Iran started to cut its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal in a retaliatory move following the unilateral decision by the U.S. to withdraw from the agreement, and the EU’s failure to fulfill its commitments.
The European countries called on Iran to “reverse all measures inconsistent with the JCPoA, including exceeding the maximum allowed low enriched uranium stockpile and the maximum allowed enrichment limits.”
“The IAEA has confirmed in its latest reports, including in its latest quarterly report of 11 November, that Iran is carrying out all of these measures,” it noted.
Stressing the importance of the full and effective implementation of the deal by all parties, the countries said they will continue to work to preserve the agreement.
The joint statement urged that “Iran must return to full implementation of its commitments under the JCPoA without delay.”