Iran launches new centrifuges during nuclear deal negotiations

Poker game between Vienna and Tehran. As negotiations to try to salvage the 2015 Iran nuclear deal continue in Vienna, Austria, Iran has announced the commissioning of new, modernized centrifuge cascades to enrich uranium faster. .. and the use of which is prohibited under this agreement.

On Saturday April 10, President Hassan Rohani officially inaugurated a line of 164 centrifuges installed in the Natanz nuclear complex (central Iran), during a videoconference ceremony broadcast by state television. No image of these waterfalls was broadcast, but engineers operating in duplex indicated, after receiving the order, that they had started to be supplied with uranium gas.

Bring the United States back into the agreement

The announcements come as discussions take place in Vienna between the Islamic Republic and the other states party to the 2015 agreement (Germany, China, France, Britain and Russia) on how to re-integrate the United States into the of this pact concluded in the Austrian capital.

This deal has been moribund since the United States unilaterally walked out of it in 2018, restoring an avalanche of economic and financial sanctions against Iran. In response, Tehran began to break away from its commitments from May 2019, and the pace has accelerated in recent months.

Exchanges judged “Productive” by the EU

Friday April 9, a glimmer of hope continued to illuminate the discussions in Vienna. The exchanges were judged “Productive” by the European Union, which coordinates the discussions. China, Great Britain, France, Germany, Iran and Russia “Took stock of the work carried out by the experts over the past three days and noted with satisfaction the initial progress made”Russian Ambassador to Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov wrote on Twitter.

In order to “Maintain the positive dynamic”, diplomats from countries still parties to the agreement, who met in a hotel in central Vienna, “Will meet again next week”, he added, before the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs specified that this meeting would be held on Wednesday, April 17 at the level of deputy ministers.

At the heart of the negotiations, the “Reciprocity”

The United States also indicated on Friday that it had made proposals “Very serious” to Iran to relaunch the deal and expect Tehran to do the same “Serious”.At the heart of the negotiations is the question of “Reciprocity” demanded by Washington, as recalled by this official who spoke on condition of anonymity. For its part, Tehran demands the prior lifting of the American sanctions reinstated by Donald Trump despite the agreement.

“The question is whether Iran is willing to (…) choose the same pragmatic approach as that of the United States to comply again with its obligations under the agreement”, judged an American official.

Donald Trump’s withdrawal

The 2015 agreement, known by the acronym of JCPOA, placed restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program in order to reassure the international community that Tehran would not be in a position to develop a nuclear weapon. In return, the agreement made the lifting of certain sanctions against Iran compulsory.

But former US President Donald Trump dramatically withdrew his country from the deal in 2018 and reimposed unilateral sanctions, leading Iran to retaliate by exceeding the limits on nuclear activity set in the text.

Abbas Araghchi, the head of the Iranian delegation, recalled on Friday that “Only after checking” the lifting of sanctions that Iran “Is ready to end its corrective measures and return to full implementation of the JCPOA”.

To carry out these checks, requested by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, Iran plans to try to export oil and carry out international banking transactions, a member of the Iranian delegation in Vienna said in an interview published on Friday.


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