UN nuclear watchdog to hold emergency meeting on Iran next week
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UN nuclear watchdog to hold emergency meeting on Iran next week

IAEA to convene at request of Washington to discuss Tehran’s exceeding quantity of enriched uranium it can stockpile under 2015 accord

General view of the board of governors meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, at the International Center in Vienna, Austria, Monday, March 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)
General view of the board of governors meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, at the International Center in Vienna, Austria, Monday, March 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

The UN’s nuclear watchdog said Friday it will hold an emergency meeting on Iran’s nuclear program next week, days after Tehran breached one of the limits set in a 2015 deal with world powers.

The meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s board of governors, which follows a US request, will be held on July 10, an IAEA spokesman said.

Earlier, the US mission in Vienna said in a statement that American Ambassador to International Organizations Jackie Wolcott had requested the special meeting to discuss Iran’s breach of the amount of enriched uranium it could stockpile.

The IAEA confirmed earlier this week that Iran had breached the limit of 300kg for stockpiles of enriched uranium as stipulated under the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The US statement described the news of the breach as “concerning.”

“The international community must hold Iran’s regime accountable,” the statement added.

Iran has said that as of Sunday it will begin breaking another key limit set in the JCPOA, which restricts the enrichment level of its uranium stockpile to 3.67 percent.

On Thursday, the European Union said it was in contact with signatories of the Iran nuclear agreement and will discuss with them what steps to take should the country ramp up uranium enrichment.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a session of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, June 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Vladimir Voronin)

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Tehran will increase its enrichment of uranium to “any amount that we want” beginning Sunday.

A spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini — a guarantor of the 2015 pact — said Thursday that “we’ve called on Iran to reverse these steps and to refrain from further measures that would undermine the nuclear agreement.”

Iran is acting on its May 8 threat to suspend parts of the agreement in response to Trump’s reimposition of crippling sanctions after withdrawing from it in May last year.

Rouhani said Wednesday’s decision to exceed the enrichment limit was in response to failure by other parties to the deal to keep up their promises and provide Iran relief from the US sanctions.

The enrichment maximum set in the agreement is sufficient for power generation but far below the more than 90% level required for a nuclear warhead.

Iran insists that it is not violating the deal, citing terms of the agreement allowing one side to temporarily abandon some of the commitments if it deems the other side is not respecting its part of the accord.

US President Donald Trump speaks during his meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, June 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Rouhani stressed that Iran’s action would be reversed if the other parties to the nuclear deal made good on their side of the bargain — relief from sanctions.

Rouhani said Iran will also deliver on its threat to resume construction of a heavy water reactor after July 7 and will bring it to the condition that “according to you, is dangerous and can produce plutonium.”

Trump had warned Monday that Iran is “playing with fire” after Tehran said it had exceeded the limit set on its enriched uranium stockpile.

But Rouhani said it was the US that started the fire and Washington has to “put it out” by returning to the nuclear deal.

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