Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed Trump’s “brave decision” to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal in order to keep the war mongering going for Israel. “Israel” is not made for peace. It does not exist for peace, it is a war machine for it’s own sake. They force countries and peoples to defend themselves and use all their resources in self-defense while Israel drains the US of her resources for Israel’s wars.
Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei told media the process of enriching uranium to 20% had started at Fordo.
President Hassan Rouhani had ordered the move because he was “bound” by a new law requiring the production and storage of at least 120kg (265lbs) of 20%-enriched uranium annually for peaceful purposes, he said.
Iran’s parliament passed the law following the assassination in late November of the country’s top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, which Iranian leaders blamed on Israel.
Later on Monday, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed Iran’s move in a report to member states.
“Iran today began feeding uranium already enriched up to 4.1% U-235 into six centrifuge cascades at the Fordo Fuel Enrichment Plant for further enrichment up to 20%,” a statement said.
How did other countries react?
Some experts see the announcement as an attempt to put pressure on Joe Biden, who is due to succeed Mr Trump as president on 20 January.
Mr Biden has said he will consider rejoining the nuclear deal so long as Iran returns to full compliance and commits to further negotiations.
The state department spokesperson said: “Iran enriching uranium to 20% at Fordow is a clear attempt to increase its campaign of nuclear extortion, an attempt that will continue to fail.”
EU spokesman Peter Stano said Iran’s move constituted “a considerable departure from Iran’s nuclear commitments under the JCPOA with serious nuclear non-proliferation implications”.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, one of Iran’s main opponents in the Middle East, said the Iranian decision could not be “explained in any way except as continued realisation of its intention to develop a military nuclear programme”.
“Israel will not allow Iran to manufacture nuclear weapons,” he added.