Tehran exceeds uranium enrichment level, Japan urges Iran to follow nuclear deal commitments

Tokyo, July 8  Japan on Monday urged Iran to follow its commitments under a 2015 nuclear agreement with major powers and refrain from taking further actions to undermine it, after Tehran has exceeded the uranium enrichment level of 3.67 percent set in the deal.

“We are deeply concerned about Iran’s announcement” on Sunday, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasutoshi Nishimura said at a news conference here. “We strongly urge Iran to abide by the nuclear agreement, immediately return to its commitments and refrain from taking steps that would damage the accord.”

Japan, which has built amicable ties with Iran, has supported the nuclear deal as a way to promote stability in the Middle East.

“Japan will continue to play its role in easing tensions and stabilizing the situation in the Middle East in collaboration with other countries. We believe the issue should be resolved through dialogue,” Nishimura said.

On Sunday, Iran’s deputy foreign minister, Abbas Araghchi, said Iran would begin enriching uranium to 4.5 percent for its Bushehr power plant.

“This is to protect the nuclear deal, not to nullify it. … This is an opportunity for talks. And if our partners fail to use this opportunity, they should not doubt our determination to leave the deal,” Araghchi said.

Iran’s atomic energy agency on Sunday said the country has started increasing uranium enrichment to above the 3.67 per cent cap agreed under the 2015 deal with Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the US.

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