The US and European powers have condemned Iran’s decision to produce uranium metal-enriched to 20 percent purity.
According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the move takes Iran a step closer to developing materials that could be used to make a nuclear weapon.
The US considered the move as a step back from the 2015 nuclear deal.
“It is worrying that Iran chooses to escalate its non-performance of its [nuclear deal] commitments, especially with experiments that have value for nuclear weapons research,” US State Department spokesman Ned Price said.
“It’s another unfortunate step backward for Iran, particularly when we for our part have demonstrated our sincere intention and willingness to return to the [deal].”
Germany, France, and Britain also expressed in a joint press release their “grave concern,” considering it a threat to “a successful outcome to the Vienna talks”.
“Iran has no credible civilian need for uranium metal R&D and production, which are a key step in the development of a nuclear weapon,” the joint statement reads.
“We strongly urge Iran to halt all activities in violation of the JCPOA, without delay and to return to the negotiations in Vienna with a view to bringing them to a swift conclusion,” the statement added.
Iran and world leaders have recently resumed talks to revive the 2015 accord which witnessed a setback during Donald Trump’s era.
Joe Biden’s election stirred a new hope for reviving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, or the Iran deal).