Iran Increases Uranium Enrichment Beyond Nuclear Deal Limits

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Steinitz's comments in a Kan Bet interview followed remarks made on Monday in Tehran by Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman for Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, who said Iran has passed the 3.67 cap on uranium enrichment set by the 2015 nuclear deal.

Iran threatened on Monday to restart deactivated centrifuges and ramp up enrichment of uranium to 20 percent purity as its next potential big moves away from a 2015 nuclear agreement that Washington abandoned past year.

Iran and the United States are at odds once again, as the Middle Eastern country passes 3.67 percent enrichment.

US President Donald Trump spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron about Iran today for the second time in a week, as Macron prepared to send his top diplomatic adviser back to Iran.

"Iran better be careful because you enrich for one reason - and I won't tell you what that reason is, but it's no good", Trump told reporters Sunday. If they failed, he said, Iran might start enriching uranium beyond 3.67% concentration. President Donald Trump, who withdrew the US from the nuclear deal over a year ago and re-imposed crippling economic sanctions on Iran, almost bombed the country last month after Tehran shot down a USA military surveillance drone.

Iran's chief demand is that the country be permitted to export crude oil at the same levels before the US reimposed sanctions.

Mr Rouhani also gave the three European countries which are still in the deal - France, Germany and the United Kingdom - until 7 July to shield Iran from the sanctions' effects.

The two threats would reverse major achievements of the agreement, although Iran omitted important details about how far it might go to returning to the status quo before the pact.

Mr Trump's top diplomat, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, earlier Sunday said Iran will face further sanctions in response to the expected breach of the cap set by an endangered nuclear deal reached with worldwide powers but from which the United States withdrew previous year.

The agency said the inspectors would report to its headquarters in Vienna "as soon as they verify the announced development". It also comes just days after Iran acknowledged breaking the 300-kilogram (661-pound) limit on its low-enriched uranium stockpile, another term of the accord. Iran responded by threatening retaliation against the U.S. Iran has acted transparently in informing about its gradual steps.

He called Sunday's decision "remedial" and within the bounds of the accord.

Within hours after the announcement, a spokesperson for EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini said "EU is seriously concerned about Iran's new announcement", adding, "We are consulting with other signatories to the JCPOA about our next steps, including holding a meeting of the JCPOA joint commission". "Nations should restore the longstanding standard of no enrichment for Iran's nuclear program".

A year after the US withdrawal that led to the reinstatement of economic sanctions, Iran said in May it was suspending some of its commitments under the nuclear deal.

"Tehran is trying to strike a delicate balance: create a nuclear crisis sufficiently serious to force Europe to deliver economic concessions without going overboard and triggering a sanctions response from Europe or a military response from the U.S.", Rome said.

The Iranian economy has slumped since the United States withdrew from the nuclear deal in May 2018 and began reinstating sanctions targeting its oil and banking sectors.

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