03:18 GMT24 January 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The United Kingdom, France and Germany expressed their concerns on Wednesday over Iran’s move to resume uranium enrichment up to 20 percent at the Fordow facility, warning that it may shatter chances for "a return to diplomacy" under the incoming Joe Biden administration in the United States.

    On Tuesday, the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran said that uranium enrichment at the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant had reached 20 percent, which is in breach of the 3.67 percent limit set by the 2015 nuclear deal. The move came in response to the killing of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.

    "We are deeply concerned by the commencement by Iran on the 4th of January of uranium enrichment up to 20% at the underground facility of the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant. This action, which has no credible civil justification and carries very significant proliferation-related risks, is in clear violation of Iran’s commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) and further hollows out the Agreement," the joint statement read.

    The three countries stated that Tehran’s decision "risks compromising the important opportunity for a return to diplomacy with the incoming US Administration."

    "We strongly urge Iran to stop enriching uranium to up to 20% without delay, reverse its enrichment programme to the limits agreed in the JCPoA and to refrain from any further escalatory steps which would further reduce the space for effective diplomacy," they went on.

    The E3 nations also noted that they remain in contact with the other remaining JCPOA signatories to "assess how to best address Iran’s non-compliance."

    Tags:
    Germany, United Kingdom, France, diplomacy, uranium enrichment, Iran nuclear deal
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