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Iran: Nuclear Power

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN HL14714, tabled on 12 April 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by the International Atomic Energy Agency, published on 31 March, which stated that Iran "was using 5,060 IR-1 centrifuges installed in 30 cascades, 696 IR-2m centrifuges installed in four cascades and 174 IR-4 centrifuges installed in one cascade to enrich natural UF6 up to 5 per cent U-235 at FEP"; and what representations they have made to the government of Iran about those reported breaches of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Answered on

26 April 2021

The UK remains committed to preserving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA). We are concerned by Iran's continued and systematic non-compliance with its nuclear commitments under the JCPoA. The UK has repeatedly made clear in public and in private, both bilaterally and with the governments of France and Germany (as E3), that Iran must return to full compliance with its commitments. In his call with President Rouhani on 10 March, the Prime Minister stressed that while the UK remains committed to making the JCPoA a success, Iran must stop all nuclear activity that breaches the terms of the deal and come back into compliance. The E3 has made frequent official level representations to the Iranians on this issue both in Tehran and Vienna. Iran's announcement on 16 April that they have started uranium enrichment up to 60% using advanced centrifuges is a serious and deeply worrying development. As the E3 said in a statement on 14 April, the production of highly enriched uranium constitutes an important step in the production of a nuclear weapon. Iran has no credible civilian need for enrichment at this level.

We fully support the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and its safeguards mandate, which is an essential part of the global non-proliferation system. The UK, unilaterally and as E3, has urged Iran to fully co-operate with the IAEA, including on all issues related to the IAEA's separate safeguards investigation. We remain concerned by Iran's decision to restrict access and oversight by the IAEA of its nuclear programme from 23 February.

Iran's continued systematic non-compliance with its JCPoA commitments is undermining the non-proliferation benefits of the deal and jeopardising our efforts to preserve it. We continue to work with the parties to the JCPoA and the US Administration to find a diplomatic way forward that realises the benefits of the deal, and call upon Iran not to take any further steps which violate its JCPoA commitments and make a return to mutual compliance harder to achieve.