Biden says the U.S. will not lift sanctions on Iran

Biden says the U.S. will not lift sanctions on Iran

The U.S. president said he would not lift sanctions on Iran until it stops its illegal nuclear activities.

U.S. President Joe Biden announced Sunday morning that the U.S. will not lift any sanctions against Iran unless it stops enriching uranium. Biden made the comments during an interview with CBS News‘ “Face the Nation.”

Biden explained that in order to make progress, Iran must first stop enriching uranium. In recent weeks, Iran has escalated its violations of the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, and has accelerated uranium enrichment to 20 percent, which exceeds the amount allowed under the agreement. A nuclear bomb requires uranium enriched above 90 percent.

The UN nuclear watchdog’s latest quarterly estimates in November show that Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium has increased to 2.4 tons, more than 10 times the amount allowed under the deal, but still a fraction of the more than eight tons it previously had.

Iran has since begun enriching uranium to a higher purity, returning to the 20% reached before the deal, from a previous high of 4.5%. The deal sets a limit of 3.67%, well below 90% weapons grade.

On Friday, The Wall Street Journal reported that new evidence had recently been found by UN inspectors that Iran was engaged in undeclared nuclear activities.