Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Iran’s uranium

Iran’s uranium

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A handout picture released by Iran's Atomic Energy Organization on September 7, 2019, shows spokesman for the organization Behrouz Kamalvandi speaking during a press conference in the capital Tehran. AFP

Iran’s uranium

Nuclear matters have exacerbated over the weekend. A year after US President Donald Trump decided to pull out from the West’s nuclear agreement with Iran, the government in Tehran has begun injecting uranium gas into advanced centrifuges in violation of its nuclear deal with world powers.

While the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will be allowed to carry out its inspections, Behrouz Kamalvandi of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran has warned that Europe had little time left to save the 2015 deal.

“Our stockpile is quickly increasing,” said Kamalvandi. “We hope they will come to their senses.”

Iran has already breached the stockpile and enrichment level limits set by the deal, while emphasising that it could quickly revert to the terms of the accord, if Europe can effect he relief from

sanctions, promised in return for curbing Tehran’s nuclear programme.

Which is rather unlikely at this juncture given the increasingly prickly triangular equation between Iran, the US and Europe.

The geopolitical anxiety has heightened since last Saturday when Iran junked the uranium enrichment limits.

It is more than obvious that Tehran has upped the ante, and binning the 2015 deal may only be a question of time.

Palpably, it is no longer abiding by the limits imposed by the agreement on its uranium enrichment and centrifuge research.

This poses a fresh challenge to European leaders, now struggling to sustain their diplomatic presence in the Gulf.

Twenty per cent enrichment is but a short technical step away from 90 per cent, which is weapons-grade level.

The government of the moderate president, Hassan Rouhani, has let it be known that the Islamic Republic is “not after the bomb”, but Iran is running out of ways to be integral to the nuclear deal with the US and the Western powers.

Prospects of negotiations have dimmed with President Rouhani ruling out talks with President Trump.

Iran has for the past four months been scaling back its compliance with the terms of the deal as it counters the “maximum pressure offensive” of President Trump, who unilaterally left the accord last year.

Should the latest bout of enrichment lead to a reprisal from Washington, the implications are too awesome to contemplate.

US sanctions have choked off Iran’s ability to sell its crude oil abroad, a crucial source of government revenue.

Iran’s economy is stuttering on account of the crippling curbs, with broad consequences for its citizens.

Sanctions can scarcely bring a regime to its knees – nor for that matter has Trumpian diplomacy.

Even a last-minute French proposal offering a $15 billion line of credit to compensate Iran for the revenues lost by the choked-off crude sales has not attained fruition.

The Trump administration insists that the goal of its “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran is to force Tehran back to the negotiating table to “rehash the terms of the nuclear deal”.

Iran has refused to do that, rejecting the White House move to abandon the deal signed by Barack Obama.

Arguably, Trumpian diplomacy has failed again and the uncertainty deepens.

The statesman (India)


  • Kingdom’s domestic milk still cannot compete with imports

    Price competition and a lack of confidence by consumers are the main reasons the dairy market cannot compete with imports, said domestic milk producers. The large displays of imported fresh milk at the Kingdom’s supermarkets present a cumbersome obstacle for local producers, they said.

  • ‘Pesticide-laden cucumbers’ kill two, poison 150 in Banteay Meanchey

    At least two youths have died and 243 others are being treated for vomiting, diarrhoea, breathing difficulties, dizziness and muscle weakness after they ate cucumbers suspected to consist of pesticides. The incident happened on Saturday, said Banteay Meanchey provincial police chief Ath Khem. He told The

  • Three dead, 13 injured in collapse at Siem Reap pagoda

    At least three people were killed and more than 10 others injured on Monday after a dining hall under construction collapsed at Prasat Kokchak pagoda in Kokchak commune, Siem Reap province. Provincial police chief Tith Narong said Military Police, soldiers and local volunteers had successfully recovered 16

  • Forest Harmony’s $18M luxury villas break ground in Kampot

    Local and French joint-venture Forest Harmony has broken ground on its $18 million “second-home” Luxury Holiday Villas project in Kampot province. Century 21 Mekong CEO and local shareholder of the project Chrek Soknim told The Post that the project will comprise 90 villa units covering 18ha on a 97

  • China Unicom enters Cambodia

    China Unicom, the country’s largest telecoms operator, has expanded into Cambodia to build optical telecommunication pathways in the Kingdom as part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The Hong Kong-listed company officially opened its China Unicom (Cambodia) subsidiary on Monday to become the

  • PP-SHV Expressway on track for completion in early 2023

    The construction of the $1.9 billion Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway, which broke ground at the end of March, is on track to be completed by early 2023, Ministry of Public Works and Transport spokesman Vasim Sorya said on Monday. The 190km high-speed highway linking the capital to the