EU Stands with Iran: Says Uranium Enrichment Plan No Breach of Nuclear Deal

Federica Mogherini

Iran’s plan to boost uranium enrichment capacity did not breach its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal brokered by Washington, the European Union (EU) said.

Iran notified the International Atomic Energy Agency on Tuesday that it plans to open a center for producing new centrifuges, the Islamic Republic’s nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi said, drawing an immediate response from Israel.

The EU is working to save the 2015 agreement with Iran (formally known as the JCPOA) brokered by Barack Obama after the U.S. pulled out. It warned that while the Iranian announcement would not help build confidence in the program, it did not constitute a breach of the deal.

“Following a first assessment, the announced steps per se are not a violation of the JCPOA,” Maja Kocijancic, spokeswoman for EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini (pictured), told AFP. The agreement is officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“However, at this particularly critical juncture, they will not contribute to build confidence in the nature of the Iranian nuclear program.”

European governments have been trying to salvage the JCPOA nuclear deal since the United States last month withdrew and said it would reimpose sanctions on foreign companies working in the Islamic Republic by November.

French President Emmanuel Macron is standing with the EU in supporting Iran, saying there is “no indication” of the Islamic Republic breaching the nuclear deal.

Macron made remarks during at a press conference with visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday.

“If you consider it insufficient but that it’s a step forward from what exist before, it’s better to keep it,” he added.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is currently in Europe attempting to convince its leaders to follow the U.S. lead and withdraw from the JCPOA entirely.

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