Iran announced a sharp increase in the level of uranium enrichment

Iran has increased the level of uranium enrichment at the Fordow nuclear facility to 20 percent. This was announced by the representative of the Government of the Islamic Republic on Monday, January 4. This value is significantly higher than the parameters provided for in the 2015 multilateral agreement on the Iranian nuclear program.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was signed by Iran, as well as the United States, Russia, China, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom, provides for Tehran to take some steps to limit its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of sanctions imposed by the United States and the EU. The United States unilaterally withdrew from the agreement in May 2018 and imposed sanctions on Iran.

In response, Tehran has refused to comply with the obligations in the framework of JCPOA. Among other things, the document prohibits uranium enrichment to a level of more than 3.67 percent. But the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported in August 2019 that Iran had enriched uranium to a level of 4.5 percent, which meets its standards. And in November 2019, the IAEA said that the reserves of nuclear fuel in the Islamic Republic exceed 2,400 kg, while under the agreement, they were supposed to remain at the level of 200 kg.

The signatories of the JCPOA, Germany, France, Great Britain, China, and Russia, still hope that the deal will be saved after the new US President Joseph Biden comes to power.

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