The European Council issued a statement on Monday acknowledging that Iran's decision to restart the process of enriching uranium to 20% stems from the US unilateral withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Iran Press/Europe: The statement, a copy of which was posted on the European Council website, reiterated the EU's strong commitment to and continued support for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

"The JCPOA is a key element of the global nuclear non-proliferation architecture and an achievement of multilateral diplomacy, endorsed unanimously by the UN Security Council through resolution 2231," the statement said.

Elsewhere in the statement, the EU said, " The initiation of uranium enrichment to up to 20% by Iran at the underground Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant, which was confirmed by the IAEA on 4 January, is a very serious development and a matter of deep concern. Iran's action is also inconsistent with the JCPOA's clear provisions on Fordow and has potentially severe proliferation implications. At this critical juncture, Iran's action also risks undermining efforts aimed at building upon the existing diplomatic process. We urge Iran to refrain from further escalation and reverse this course of action without delay. Continued full and timely cooperation with the IAEA remains critical."

"We acknowledge the issues arising from the unilateral withdrawal of the United States from the agreement and the re-imposition of its sanctions. The EU has upheld its JCPOA commitments, including regarding sanctions lifting as foreseen in the agreement. Despite the severe challenges to the JCPOA, the EU has continued to work hard to preserve it. We take note of the Ministerial statement of JCPOA Participants of 21 December 2020. We express support for the ongoing diplomatic efforts in the framework of the Joint Commission, with the EU High Representative as its coordinator, to ensure full JCPOA implementation. In this context, we also express our support to intensive diplomacy with the goal of facilitating a US return to the JCPOA and Iran's return to full JCPOA implementation."

This is while the Islamic Republic of Iran reduced its nuclear activities after the nuclear deal in 2015 based on the agreement with the P5 + 1 and had no delay in this regard, but on the other hand, the Americans temporarily lifted some sanctions and at last withdrew from the agreement.

Iranian officials have said that the condition for the United States' return to the JCPOA is the lifting of all oppressive sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran.


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