Iran begins to curb uranium enrichment

By staff writers
20 Jan 2014

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has confirmed today (20 January) that Iran has begun curbing uranium enrichment a part of a deal reached with the US, Russia, China and Europe which will see international sanction eased.

The BBC reports the IAIE as confirming that Iran has ceased enriching uranium above five per cent purity at its Nantaz and Fordo facilities, has begun diluting its stockpile of uranium enriched to 20 per cent and has agreed details of increased access to Natanz and Fordo for UN inspectors.

Kate Hudson, General Secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) said "Negotiations over such sensitive issues as a nuclear programme are fraught with political and logistical issues: they take time. But what we are seeing today is the fruit of dogged diplomacy and a willingness to pursue peaceful solutions to complex regional problems.

"Not long ago, the threat of a military strike on Iran, whether by the US or Israel, was seen as almost inevitable. So today represents an historic step on the path to peace and security in the Middle East.

"But transparency over nuclear programmes should not just be limited to Iran. While Israel is widely recognised as a nuclear-armed state, it refuses to confirm or deny its arsenal: the only state in the world to maintain a policy of nuclear ambiguity.

"If today's announcement teaches us anything, it is that only through open and transparent negotiations can regional insecurities be overcome."

European Union foreign ministers are likely to vote today in favour of partial lifting of the sanctions which have been in place agaisnt Iran since 2006 and which are estimated to be worth around $7 billion to the Iranian economy.

[Ekk/4]

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