The possibility of reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal has ebbed and flowed since ultra-conservative president Ebrahim Raisi took office (MEES, 6 August). This week, Iran announced that it has now amassed more than 120kg of 20% enriched uranium, way above the 3.67% mandated by the JCPOA but still below the 90% needed for nuclear weapons. At the same time last month’s Tehran-IAEA deal to grant the Vienna-based nuclear watchdog access to surveillance cameras in Iran’s nuclear facilities seems to be falling apart.
The increased enrichment has pushed US, EU and Israeli officials to take a tougher stance. US secretary of state Antony Blinken says his country is looking at “every option” to deal with Iran; though few observers consider this implicit threat of military action to be serious. His Israeli counterpart said his country “reserves the right to act at any given moment in any given way.” Meanwhile the EU’s Iran coordinator Enrique Mora on 14 October met Iran’s new chief negotiator Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri in Tehran. (CONTINUED - 220 WORDS)