Iran 'preparing' to enrich if nuclear deal fails

22 July, 2018, 08:15 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Iran opens new centrifuge rotor factory: nuclear chief

The announcement came a month after Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said he had ordered agencies to prepare to increase uranium enrichment capacity if a nuclear deal with world powers falls apart after Washington's withdrawal from the pact.

He said Iran had imported 550 tons of uranium before the nuclear agreement and had acquired approximately another 400 tons after the agreement was finalized, bringing the total stockpile to between 900 and 950 tons. The bank's leadership confirmed that it would not operate in Iran as it could mean the loss of access to USA capital markets.

Under the conditions of the nuclear deal-formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)-Iran scaled back its uranium-enrichment programme and promised not work on developing nuclear weapons.

The U.S. pulled out of the deal in May.

Iran, in return, would need to implement legislation to meet anti-money-laundering standards set by an global watchdog, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the officials said.

The goal of turning to the ICJ is "to hold (the) USA accountable for its unlawful re-imposition of unilateral sanctions", Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote earlier in the day on Twitter.

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Four days of hearings into an earlier complaint lodged by Iran in October 2016 against the U.S. for freezing around $2 billion of its assets overseas are due to start on October 8 when the United States will argue the court has no authority to hear the case. In any event, the effect is the same for those countries that might reasonably strive to maintain some of their economic relations with Iran.

In an effort to help keep money flowing to Tehran as U.S. sanctions come back into effect, the European Union has agreed to add to the list of countries with which the Luxembourg-based EIB, the bloc's not-for-profit lender, does business. Although the ICJ, based in The Hague, is the highest United Nations court and its decisions are binding, it has no power to enforce them, and countries, including the USA, have occasionally ignored its rulings.

Earlier this week, the US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Washington would consider waivers for countries which needed more time to wind down their oil imports from Iran, in response to the reimposed sanctions. The first round of U.S. sanctions on Iran goes into effect in August, followed by ones targeting Iran's oil exports in November.

Werner Hoyer said that the EIB can not be active in Iran.

The bloc's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said on Monday the 28 countries were doing all they could to save the deal but conceded US President Donald Trump's administration could still wreck it.

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