With a new law, Iran seeks to halt UN inspections of its nuclear facilities and also push forward its uranium enrichment program.
The new rule states that the Tehran government can increase uranium enrichment to 20%, well above the 3.67% agreed in the 2015 multi-sided nuclear agreement, if international sanctions against the country are not suspended within two months.
In this regard, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani stated that he was opposed to the implementation of the law.
The approval made in the Islamic Consultative Assembly (Parliament) comes a week after the controversial death of the main nuclear scientist from Iran.
Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was killed in a mysterious attack on a highway on the outskirts of Tehran last Friday.
Iran’s top military officials claim that Israel and an opposition group used a remote control weapon to carry out the shooting that ended the scientist’s life.
Israel has not spoken publicly about allegations of its involvement.
What does Iran’s new law mean for its nuclear program?
Fakhrizadeh played a crucial role in Iran’s nuclear program, but the government insists that his work was completely peaceful.
The development of the Iranian atomic plan was subject to sanctions by the international community for fear that the country would develop nuclear weapons.
Under the new law, which has already been ratified by Iran’s Guardian Council, the nation will allow two months for European signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal to ease sanctions imposed on Iran’s financial and oil sectors.
In 2018, by decision of Donald Trump, the United States withdrew from the agreement international.
If the sanctions are not modified before the deadline, the rule calls on the Tehran government to increase its uranium enrichment program to 20% and to install centrifuge plants at its nuclear facilities.
And it also closes the door to UN inspectors’ access to these sites.
“Today, in a letter, the Speaker of Parliament officially asked the President to implement the new law,” Iranian news agency Fars reported on Wednesday.
Before the law’s ratification, President Rouhani said his government disagreed with the legislation, which he described as “detrimental to diplomacy.”
The US president-elect, Joe Biden, anticipated that he will return his country to the agreement, negotiated under the presidency of Barack Obama in 2015, and that he will lift the sanctions established if Tehran returns to “strictly comply with the nuclear pact.”
The Democratic leader, who will be sworn in as the 46th president of the United States on January 20, told The New York Times that “it’s going to be difficult,” but that “the last thing that part of the world needs is a creation of nuclear capability“.
Iran exceeded the 3.67% uranium enrichment limit in July 2019 and the level of uranium enrichment has remained stable at 4.5% since then.
Low enriched uranium, which is typically 3-5% in concentration, can be used to produce fuel for power plants.
Weapons-grade uranium is 90% or more enriched.
Suspicions that Iran was using its atomic program as an excuse to develop a nuclear bomb led the European Union, the United States and the UN to impose sanctions in 2010.
The 2015 agreement was designed to establish a verifiable way to prevent that risk in exchange for sanctions relief.
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