IAEA Tehran 'accelerating' production of enriched uranium

Yukiya Amano abandons cautious language to express great concern about the growing tensions between the US and Iran. He calls for "ways to reduce" the escalation "through dialogue" and asks Tehran to respect "the planned commitments". Zardari: First stop the "economic war" launched by America.

Tehran (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Tehran has responded to threats launched in recent weeks and has accelerated the production of enriched uranium, says the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The UN linked agency has abandoned the usual cautious language to demonstrate its concerns about the escalation taking place in the region.

Yukiya Amano's statements come in a context of the escalation in US-Iranian tension triggered by US President Donald Trump’s 2018 decision to pull out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) ​​agreed by his predecessor, Barack Obama.

Washington has bolstered its military presence in the area, and has its sights set on the Islamic Republic’s oil exports. Tehran has responded by threatening to restart uranium enrichment and has called on European nations to salvage what remains of the nuclear agreement.

"Yes, the data on production is growing" stressed the head of the IAEA during a press conference, confirming a change in Tehran’s position which, until May 20, had always respected the limits set by the agreement. However, Amano did not want to specify the total volume and the possible achievement of the maximum threshold set by the JCPOA. He therefore hoped that "ways can be found to reduce tension through dialogue. It is essential - he concluded - that Iran fully enforces its commitments ".

Meanwhile, international diplomacy continues its work. Yesterday German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, at the end of the meeting in the Iranian capital, with his counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif stressed that "the situation in the region is very explosive and very serious". He did not rule out a "military" drift of the confrontation.

"This war [...] - said Iranian President Hassan Rouhani - will not benefit any nation, nonetheless the Iranian people will be able to stand up to pressure and bully tactics". Zarif then added that Tehran is ready to work with the European Union (EU) to save what remains of the agreement, but for this to happen it is essential "to stop the economic war launched by America".