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Report: Iran lifts last remaining restriction on nuclear program

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani seen at an exhibition of Iranian nuclear technologies, standing next to model centrifuges used to refine uranium and other nuclear materials, on April 9, 2019 [president.ir]
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani seen at an exhibition of Iranian nuclear technologies, standing next to model centrifuges used to refine uranium and other nuclear materials, on April 9, 2019 [president.ir]

Iran has lifted the last remaining limitation imposed on its nuclear program, announcing that its nuclear facilities have begun the process of producing uranium metal, Russian Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper reported.

The paper disclosed that Iranian Permanent Envoy to International Organisations in Vienna Kazem Gharibabadi has recently announced that Tehran is beginning the process of improving fuel for the production of uranium metal.

The production of uranium metal is the last limitation that separates the peaceful use of nuclear energy from war-usage.

According to Nezavisimaya Gazeta, the Iranian official's announcement aims to encourage the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden to immediately lift the sanctions imposed by the Trump administration on Tehran and rejoin the 2015 nuclear agreement.

Military expert Yuri Lyamin told the paper: "In December 2020, Iran's parliament passed a law on a strategic plan for the removal of sanctions and the protection of the Iranian people's interests, which outlines a number of steps that the government and the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran should take within a specified timeframe."

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"The steps particularly include the production of 20 per cent enriched uranium, the installation of new uranium enrichment centrifuges and a refusal to voluntarily implement the additional protocol to the Non-Proliferation Treaty," he explained.

"One of the law's articles stipulates that a uranium metal plant in Isfahan should be launched within five months, Lyamin told, noting that: "Even the law's title makes it clear that Tehran is giving the European Union and US President-elect Joe Biden a challenge: return to compliance with the JCPOA, remove the Trump-imposed sanctions and then, Iran will also resume compliance with its obligations. Otherwise, Iran's nuclear program will get a boost with no artificial limits to stop it."

In the same context, Nezavisimaya Gazeta noted that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu intends to appoint a special envoy to Washington to negotiate with the Biden administration over its stance on Iran's nuclear program.

Axios news outlet also reported that Tel Aviv plans to appoint a special envoy to Washington, explaining that some of the candidates proposed to occupy the position is Israel's current Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer and the current Mossad Director Yossi Cohen.

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