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G7 warns Iran over continuing nuclear programme escalation

June 14, 2024 at 3:28 pm

European Council President Charles Michell (L), German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (2nd L), Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (3rd L), French President Emmanuel Macron (4th L), Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni (C), U.S. President Joe Biden (4th R), Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (3rd R), British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (2nd R) and President of the European Commission Ursula Von Der Leyen (R) pose for a family photo for 50th G7 summit in Brindisi, Apulia, region of Italy on June 13, 2024. [Valeria Ferraro – Anadolu Agency]

The Group of Seven leaders warned Iran, on Friday, against advancing its nuclear enrichment programme and said they would be ready to enforce new measures if Tehran were to transfer ballistic missiles to Russia, according to a draft communiqué, Reuters reports.

“We urge Tehran to cease and reverse nuclear escalations, and stop the continuing uranium enrichment activities that have no credible civilian justifications,” the statement seen by Reuters said.

Iran has rapidly installed extra uranium-enriching centrifuges at its Fordow site and begun setting up others, a UN nuclear watchdog report said on Thursday.

Iran is now enriching uranium to up to 60 per cent purity, close to the 90 per cent of weapons grade, and has enough material enriched to that level, if enriched further, for three nuclear weapons, according to an IAEA yardstick.

“Iran must engage in serious dialogue and provide convincing assurances that its nuclear program is exclusively peaceful, in full cooperation and compliance with the IAEA’s monitoring and verification mechanism, including the Board of Governors’ resolution of 5 June,” the G7 said.

Iran says its nuclear programme is solely for peaceful purposes.

The leaders also warned Iran about concluding a deal to send ballistic missiles to Russia that would help it in its war against Ukraine, saying they were prepared to respond with significant measures if it were to happen.

“We call on Iran to stop assisting Russia’s war in Ukraine and not to transfer ballistic missiles and related technology, as this would represent a substantive material escalation and a direct threat to European security,” they said.

READ: Iran vows to respond to any IAEA condemnation