Iran is going to take the next step in its nuclear program by developing new nuclear centrifuges for the enrichment of uranium, Iranian President Hassan Rohani announced in a TV speech on Wednesday.
This puts Iran one step further away from the atomic agreements that the country made in 2015 with the major powers. It stated, among other things, that the country was allowed to have an outdated enrichment centrifuge at only two nuclear power stations. With new centrifuges, the country can enrich more and faster uranium that can be used for reactors, but also for nuclear weapons.
"All restrictions for our research and development department will be lifted on Friday," Rohani said during his speech. Iran says they will only use enriched uranium to generate electricity, but the United States in particular is questioning that.
Iran is asking Europe for protection against sanctions
In May 2018, the US withdrew from the nuclear agreement, and has since hit Iran with various economic sanctions. In the run-up to this announcement, Rohani already appealed to the European signatories to the agreement to protect his country from the impact of US sanctions that have a major impact on Iranian foreign oil sales.
"It is unlikely that we will come to an agreement in the next two days," says Rohani. "Europe will have two months from us to save the agreement." The Iranian president said that the measures that will commence on Friday will "be peaceful and come under the supervision of the United Nations nuclear watchdog." Rohani also reported that the measures could be reversed if "Europe adheres to the agreements."
France willing to grant Iran credit
On Tuesday, France announced its willingness to provide Iran with a loan of EUR 14.5 billion until the end of the year / The condition is that Iran will fully adhere to the 2015 agreement. Iran has responded moderately positively. The United States reacted coldly to the proposal, but did not immediately reject it.
The US did impose its own new sanctions on Wednesday, blacklisting a number of companies, ships, and individuals that they suspect are part of an "oil for terror" network run by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard .
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