Iran resumed its uranium enrichment on Thursday at its Fordow underground plant south of Tehran in a new step back from its 2015 milestone commitment to a nuclear deal.
Engineers began feeding uranium hexafluoride gas (UF6) in the plant's enriched centrifuges in & # 39; the first minutes of Thursday & # 39 ;, the statement said.
The suspension of uranium enrichment in the long secret factory was one of the restrictions that Iran agreed in its nuclear program in exchange for lifting UN sanctions.
A hand-out photo released by the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization on Wednesday, reportedly shows a truck carrying UF6 (uranium hexafluoride gas) fuel leaving the Natanz nuclear power plant in Isfahan while being transported to the Fordo (Fordow) underground facility. Iran today resumed nuclear enrichment at the Fordow base in a new step back from its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal with the US and five EU powers
Iran announced on Tuesday that it had doubled its capacity to enrich uranium. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani can be seen in Tehran last month
Iran's announcement on Wednesday that it would resume enrichment at the Fordow plant from midnight (8:30 PM GMT) had drawn a chorus of concern from the remaining parties to the troubled agreement.
Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia are trying to save the hard-fought deal since Washington left it last May and again imposed crippling unilateral sanctions.
They say Iran's phased suspension of its obligations under the deal since May makes it harder.
The resumption of enrichment at Fordow is Iran's fourth step away from the deal.
Rouhani and other officials inspect nuclear technology earlier this year in Tehran, where the government has accused European powers of failing to deliver on their promises
Uranium enrichment is the sensitive process that produces fuel for nuclear power stations, but also, in very extensive form, the fission core for a nuclear warhead.
Iran has always denied a military dimension to its military program.
It has done everything to emphasize that all the steps it has taken are transparent and quickly reversible if the remaining parties to the agreement find a way around the US sanctions.
& # 39; All of these activities have been conducted under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency & # 39 ;, said the Iranian nuclear organization.
A source close to the UN watchdog said it has on-site inspectors in Fordow and & # 39; very fast & # 39; would report on the steps that Iran has taken.
Iran's final step comes after a deadline set by the remaining parties to the nuclear agreement to devise a mechanism whereby foreign companies can continue to do business with Iran without incurring American fines.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressed concern about Tehran's announcements, but said that European powers should do their bit.
& # 39; They demand that Iran, without exception, fulfill all (obligations), but give nothing in return, & # 39; he told reporters in Moscow.
The Kremlin has previously sanctions against Iran & # 39; unprecedented and illegal & # 39; mentioned.
Depicted is Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during a press conference following the Russian-Greek talks on Wednesday. The Kremlin has previously imposed sanctions against the Islamic Republic & # 39; unprecedented and illegal & # 39; mentioned
French President Emmanuel Macron said that Iran & # 39; serious & # 39; decisions and that the resumption of uranium enrichment was a & # 39; radical change & # 39; was from Tehran's earlier position.
& # 39; I will have discussions in the coming days, including with the Iranians, and we must jointly draw the consequences & # 39 ;, said Macron during a trip to Beijing.
The coming weeks will be devoted to increasing pressure on Iran to return under the pact, the French president said, adding that this should be accompanied by a relaxation of some sanctions.
& # 39; Return to normal can only take place if the United States and Iran agree to reopen a kind of trust agenda & # 39; and dialogue, Macron said, adding that he would discuss the matter with Trump.
Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said that Britain remained committed to a negotiated road ahead, but demanded that Iran meet its obligations.
& # 39; We want to find a way forward through constructive international dialogue, but Iran needs to deliver on its commitments and urgently return to full compliance & # 39 ;, he said.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that Iran should reverse its decision to resume uranium enrichment and take the action of Tehran & # 39; unacceptable & # 39; must mention.
& # 39; We call on Iran to reverse all steps taken since July and return to full compliance with its obligations & # 39 ;, Maas told reporters in Berlin.
& # 39; Our goal is to enforce the nuclear agreement, & # 39; he said. & # 39; We have always fully implemented our commitments and Iran now needs to admit urgently to reduce tensions. & # 39;
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