Iran set to step up uranium enrichment

Iran has declared with immediate effect that it will no longer adhere to the limit for uranium enrichment stipulated by the Vienna Nuclear Treaty. This step is the second breach of the 2015 agreement. Teheran had already announced recently that it intended to exceed the uranium reserves limit of 300 kilogrammes. Europe's press examines the reasons for and consequences of this escalation.

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The Guardian (GB) /

Trump left Tehran no other choice

With his aggressive approach the US president has positively forced Tehran to breach the treaty, The Guardian writes in a critical commentary:

“The Trump administration made a decision to undermine the diplomatic legacy of Obama, but it may not have fully understood that in doing so it would also be obliterating any possibility of brokering its own diplomatic solution. Trump has consistently offered to talk to Iranian officials, but his actions have been by far the most belligerent since the 1979 revolution. Deploying these phony, rhetorical offers of talks at the same time as imposing devastating sanctions is not a strategy that will make Iran yield.”

Le Figaro (FR) /

Resume the talks

Le Figaro explains how a further escalation can be countered:

“Having just launched his re-election campaign, Trump wants to avoid getting the US embroiled in a new armed conflict in the Middle East. He has declared himself willing to negotiate with Iran. In order to reduce the pressure it would be sufficient to allow some exceptions in the extra-territorial US sanctions to take effect, which allow certain countries to import oil. It now seems to be dawning on the US president that it is not realistic to include everything in a single treaty. The Iranian nuclear threat urgently needs to be kept in check. A skilfully negotiated new 'nuclear deal' would allow this goal to be achieved and at the same time smooth the way for discussions on other aspects.” (RO) /

The goal is a nuclear bomb

Writing on economic analyst Cătălin Bizdadea says he does not believe that Iran simply intends to build a few nuclear power stations:

“That's an explanation for fools, because Iran has huge gas reserves with which it could also generate electricity. … Its goal is simple: it too wants to have a nuclear plaything. What does that mean? To build a viable nuclear warhead rather than just a simple petard requires a volume of the isotope U235 of almost 90 percent. Currently the enriched volume [permitted in Iran] is 3.67 percent, the rest is the isotope U-238, which doesn’t have the same destructive potential. … Now all eyes are on Iran, because a nuclear weapon in the hands of the supreme leader would be a nightmare scenario. But currently we are a long way from that.”