Germany, France and Britain said yesterday that they are “deeply concerned” by Iran’s announcement that it intends to install additional, advanced uranium enrichment centrifuges at the Natanz plant, and of parliamentary legislation that could lead to expanding its nuclear programme.
The three countries – dubbed the E3 – said in a joint statement that “if Iran is serious about preserving a space for diplomacy, it must not implement these steps”.
They also warned Iran against a decision to ban International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors.
On Saturday, the Iranian Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) endorsed the parliament-ratified “Strategic Action to Lift Embargoes” law, intended to reduce international monitoring of Iran’s nuclear programme if sanctions on the country are not lifted in two months.
The law obliges the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran to increase uranium enrichment by at least 20 per cent, and to increase its stockpile of low-enriched uranium in contravention of the 2015 nuclear agreement signed with world powers which limits Tehran to enriching uranium by no more than 3.67 per cent.
The law was passed following the assassination of the Islamic Republic’s top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.