April 14 (UPI) -- Britain, France and Germany criticized Iran on Wednesday for increasing enrichment of uranium to levels banned by the 2015 nuclear deal.
Iran began increasing enrichment levels to a concentration of 60% on Wednesday, which is far above the 3.67% cap stipulated by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which Tehran signed six years ago with Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China, the European Union and the United States.
Iran also announced this week that it plans to install more nuclear centrifuges at various facilities.
"This is a serious development since the production of highly enriched uranium constitutes an important step in the production of a nuclear weapon," the three countries said in a joint statement.
"Iran has no credible civilian need for enrichment at this level. We also express our concern at the news that Iran plans to install 1,000 additional centrifuges at Natanz, which will significantly increase Iran's enrichment capacity."
The United States left the JCPOA in 2018 when Donald Trump was president. Indirect negotiations began in Austria last week to discuss a possible U.S. return, as U.S. President Joe Biden has said he wants to rejoin the accord -- which offers sanctions relief for Iran in exchange for steps to curb Tehran's nuclear programs.
"Iran's dangerous recent communication is contrary to the constructive spirit and good faith of these discussions," the British, French and German statement added.
"In light of recent developments, we reject all escalatory measures by any actor, and we call upon Iran not to further complicate the diplomatic process."