Another Step Out Of The Deal 🦶
Iran switches centrifuges
On Saturday, Iran announced that it has begun using advanced centrifuges to enrich uranium. The 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal had limited Iran to using 5060 first generation centrifuges. Iran has started using centrifuges that would enrich at 4 to 10 times faster rate. It also announced it will continue to allow IAEA monitoring of its nuclear sites but warned that Europe needs to get a deal quickly.
The world's reaction
US Defense Secretary Mark Esper commented that the development is “no surprise” since Iran will “pursue” whatever they intend to. Germany “urged” Iran to stop taking steps to leave the deal. France President Macron discussedIran’s reactions over a call with Putin ahead their meeting on security issues.
Washington Examiner: Iran threatens to make weapons-grade uranium with tech banned by nuclear deal
Washington Free Beacon: Iran Further Breaches Nuclear Deal, Says It Can Exceed 20% Enrichment
The right focuses on the implications of Iran’s actions to prospects of a nuclear Iran. They highlight that using more advanced centrifuges would “shorten the one year time frame” Iran needs to develop a nuclear weapon. The articles acknowledge comments from Iranian officials that assert Iran is not currently “after the bomb” but point to Iran’s warning of further steps as evidence it is considering the possibility.
The left believes that Iran’s actions are “symbolic gestures” designed to get Europe to act. They note that the actions are carefully calculated to “highlight the urgency” for European help while not going too far to “trigger a US armed response”. These articles also emphasize that Iran’s actions are steps that could be “undone” if Europe helps Iran recover lost oil revenue due to U.S. sanctions.
Where's the common ground?
Both sides agree that using advanced centrifuges is a step prohibited by the nuclear deal. They disagree whether it was taken to get Europe to help Iran or as a part of Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons.
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