Iran: US military fly B-52 bomber over Middle East
Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, urged the US to lift sanctions before talks on the Middle Eastern nation’s nuclear programme can resume. Mr Zarif’s remarks are likely to increase tensions with Mr Biden’s administration. Majid Takht-Ravanchi, Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations, told USA Today on Thursday that Biden “must act quickly” to return to the 2015 nuclear deal “because the window is closing.”
The new US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, has insisted that Tehran must curb its nuclear programme before any easing of sanctions.
However, Mr Zarif told reporters that this is “not practical and will not happen.”
He added: “”If the United States fulfils its obligations, we will fulfil our obligations in full.”
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The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPA) was the signature foreign policy achievement of President Obama’s administration.
It was signed in July 2015 by the US, China, France, Russia and the UK together with the European Union.
Under the terms of the deal, Iran agreed to eliminate its stockpile of medium-enriched uranium, cut its stockpile of low-enriched uranium by 98 percent, and reduce by about two-thirds the number of its gas centrifuges for 13 years.
In return, the West agreed to ease its economic sanctions against the Tehran regime.
However, Donald Trump unilaterally pulled out of the agreement in 2018 and reimposed punitive sanctions on Iran.
Thereafter, Tehran gradually began to violate the terms of the treaty, before refusing to comply with any of its protocols after the assassination of Major General Qasem Soleimani in January 2020.
The Atomic Energy Organisation said on Friday that it believes Iran to possess some 37 pounds (17 kilograms) of 20 percent enriched uranium.
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Experts say that it is a short technical step to reach 90 percent weapons grade uranium from 20 percent.
As of November, Tehran had stockpiled some 5,385 pounds (2,443 kilograms) of uranium enriched up to 4.5 percent, according to an International Atomic Energy Agency report.
The Arms Control Association estimates Iran would need more than 2,300 pounds (1,043 kilograms) of 90 percent enriched uranium to make a bomb.
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