Iran issued an ultimatum to Europe on Monday, warning that within days the Islamic Republic will exceed the limit on its stockpile of uranium under the 2015 nuclear accord. The violation, which Tehran said would happen within ten days, could see Iranian enrichment levels reaching up to 20 percent – just a step away from weapons-grade levels.
A spokesperson for the Iranian atomic agency confirmed that the country’s production of uranium enriched to a low level had quadrupled and its stockpile would soon surpass a 300 kilograms limit on Thursday, June 27.
In May, Iran informed signatories of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that it would no longer comply with commitments made in the agreement. As part of the deal, the country had limits imposed on the quantities of uranium and heavy water it can produce, set at 300 kilograms and 130 tonnes, respectively.
The JCPOA does not permanently prohibit Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. To the contrary, by adhering to the terms of the JCPOA, Iran will emerge as a nuclear threshold state with an industrial-size enrichment program and close to zero-breakout time in little more than a decade.
During a meeting on Monday with French ambassador, Philippe Thiebaud, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned that time was running out for European countries to salvage the nuclear accord. “The current situation is very critical and France and the other parties to the (deal) still have a very limited opportunity to play their historic role for saving the deal,” Rouhani said.
The EU, which is working to save the agreement after the United States pulled out, warned that “we strongly hope, encourage, expect that Iran continues to comply with its commitment in full.”
A spokesman for the British government said that if Iran would violate its low-grade uranium stockpile limits, then the UK would look at “all options.” The country’s foreign minister, Jeremy Hunt, previously said that the UK would not accept any ultimatum set by Tehran.