Iran Nuclear NewsGermany warns Iran against 'unilateral steps' on nuclear work

Germany warns Iran against ‘unilateral steps’ on nuclear work

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AFP: Germany urged Iran Monday not to take any “unilateral steps” on uranium enrichment that could endanger negotiations with the European Union on its nuclear program.
“The German government calls on Tehran not to undertake any unilateral steps that would threaten the agreement from Paris,” a foreign ministry spokesman said, referring to a pledge Iran made in November to suspend uranium enrichment. AFP

BERLIN – Germany urged Iran Monday not to take any “unilateral steps” on uranium enrichment that could endanger negotiations with the European Union on its nuclear program.

“The German government calls on Tehran not to undertake any unilateral steps that would threaten the agreement from Paris,” a foreign ministry spokesman said, referring to a pledge Iran made in November to suspend uranium enrichment.

The spokesman, Jens Ploetner, said Germany was “troubled” by Iran’s announcement Monday it would resume limited work on its nuclear program by resuming activities at its Isfahan plant, a facility used for uranium conversion.

The statement followed an ultimatum Sunday that Tehran would resume uranium conversion if the EU — represented by Britain, France and Germany — failed by Monday to come up with a package of trade and security incentives.

Ploetner said that Britain, France and Germany intended to stick with a timetable agreed in May in Geneva in which the three countries would present a new “comprehensive” proposal by early August.

He added the offer would be presented “in a few days”.

“In this context, a resumption of uranium conversion would be a completely unnecessary step,” he said.

“We are still ready to negotiate with Iran on the basis of our previous agreements. But now it is up to Iran not to miscalculate.”

Uranium enrichment is a process that makes fuel for civilian nuclear power plants but can also be the explosive core of atom bombs.

The conversion process, carried out at the Isfahan facility in central Iran, changes uranium ore into the uranium gas that is the feedstock for enrichment.

The UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, has been investigating Iran’s nuclear program since February 2003 on US charges that the Islamic republic is secretly developing nuclear weapons.

The United States wants Iran brought before the UN Security Council to face possible sanctions but is backing the EU diplomatic effort to get Iran to guarantee it will not make nuclear weapons.

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