A global nuclear watchdog is meeting at America’s request, Sen. Marco Rubio urges Donald Trump to “increase pressure” on Iran.
The meeting, which Iran’s leaders called a “sad irony”, comes after a series of events that began in May 2018, when the U.S. announced it would be pulling out of an international accord, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
The Obama-era nuclear deal, signed by Iran and the U.S, as well as Britain, France, Germany, the European Union, Russia and China, was implemented to provide Iran with sanctions relief in exchange for cooperation with global nuclear standards.
As of May 2018, the consensus was that Iran had largely held up its end of the agreement.
But U.S. involvement with the accord, which Trump once called “the worst deal ever”, was short-lived when the U.S. decided to exit the agreement, leaving the rest of the nations scrambling to hold it together.
Now, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says that Iran has, in fact, violated the agreement by stockpiling uranium over the 300-kilogram restriction imposed by JCPOA. This came after an announcement from Iranian President Hassan Rohani that Iran would exceed that limit by June 27.
Iran has also announced plans to enrich its uranium beyond the mandated concentration.
The move to increase higher concentration uranium production is the latest hand played in a game of intimidation between the U.S. and Iran, and Rubio wants Trump to keep it up.
Upon the release of IAEA’s report, Jackie Wolcott, the U.S. Ambassador to International Organizations, requested a meeting with the organization’s board of governors to discuss the findings.
Last week, Rubio joined forces with Republican Senators Ted Cruz and Tom Cotton, appealing to Trump on the matter of Iran in a letter:
“We write to urge you to increase pressure on Iran’s nuclear program, in the aftermath of Iran publicly violating the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) by stockpiling more than 300 kg of low-enriched uranium and threatening further violations within weeks.
“Regime officials have signaled they intend to creep towards a nuclear weapon, while demanding concessions and promising to ‘reverse’ their violations if their demands are met. We urge you to reject their nuclear blackmail.”
The letter goes on to call for more pressure on Iran’s nuclear program.
The Senators suggest discontinuing civil-nuclear waivers, which intend to allow Iran to maintain a nuclear status quo and, instead, restoring international restrictions with regard to Iran’s uranium, plutonium and ballistic capabilities as part of a “snapback mechanism” granted to the U.S by United Nations Security Council resolution (UNSCR) 2231.
It remains to be seen what actions Trump will take at the July 10 meeting in Vienna, as all eyes look to America and Iran to work out differences in the name of global peace.