An increase in Iran's enriched uranium production was observed following the country's statement that it will increase the production volume, said the global nuclear watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) President Yukiya Amano on Monday.
During a press conference after the IAEA's General Assembly in Vienna, Amano pointed out the importance of defusing the rising tension over the Iranian nuclear issue and called for a dialogue.
Since January 2016, the IAEA has been verifying and monitoring Iran's implementation of its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA. During the meeting IEA also shared the agency's monitoring report.
Amano said that in the report, he did not used the phrase 'Iran implements its commitments regarding its nuclear activities within the framework of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)', which was used in the last 3 reports published by the agency.
'I did not use this statement because Iran's Supreme National Security Council announced that it would halt certain measures of the JCPOA,' Amano said and added that 'It would have been inappropriate if I had used the same phrase as in the previous reports. But I must say that we are not saying that Iran does not fulfill its commitments to nuclear activities.'
Answering a question on Iran's statement in May that it will quadruple its uranium production, Amano said, 'In line with our measurements, Iran's [uranium] production rate has increased.'
It is not clear when they will reach a limit set under a 2015 international deal, Amano said.
Earlier May, Iran threatened to abandon parts of the deal because of unfulfilled promises of world powers and new U.S. sanctions on Tehran. The country announced that it will keep more enriched uranium than allowed under the nuclear deal and set a 60-day deadline to negotiate new terms.
- Increased tension over Iran nuclear deal
World powers had agreed in 2015 to lift economic sanctions imposed on Iran in return for Tehran agreeing to limit its nuclear activities for peaceful and civilian purposes.
The JCPOA, also known as 2015 nuclear deal, was signed between Iran and Russia, China, France, the U.K., and the U.S., plus Germany.
Last year, U.S. President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew his country from the deal.
Shortly afterward, White House intensified the pressure on Tehran by re-imposing economic sanctions on Iran that targets the country’s energy and banking sectors.
However, despite the U.S.' 'maximum pressure' campaign on Iran with new sanctions, EU heavyweights -- Germany, France and the U.K. -- continue to back the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran.
The U.S.' unilateral withdrawal from the deal and sanctions on Iran, the country’s commercial relations with the EU members was adversely affected.
The EU announced that it will implement the payment mechanism INSTEX, in order to prevent European companies trading with Iran from sanctions. However, the mechanism could not be implemented, drawing Iran's reaction.
Reporting by Askin Kiyagan in Vienna
Additional reporting and writing by Firdevs Yuksel