Iran Threatens To Resume High-Level Uranium Enrichment Amid U.S. Sanctions


The Iranian president said European signatories of the nuclear accord have 60 days to negotiate new terms that would mitigate the impact of crippling sanctions imposed by the U.S. If the 60-day deadline is not met, Rouhani said, Iran will end limits on uranium enrichment.

However, Iran's announcement on Wednesday was a result of Washington's decision on May 3 to bar sales of Iranian enriched uranium and heavy water to other countries.

In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian Presidency, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani speaks in a cabinet meeting in Tehran, Iran, May 8, 2019. "The surgery on the deal with better reflect the realities", he said during a televised speech on Wednesday. Trump has long objected to the deal, particularly that it did not address Iran's ballistic missile program. After the United States withdrew from the accord it restored crippling sanctions on Iran, exacerbating a severe economic crisis.

The Kremlin said Iran had been provoked into rolling back some of the terms of the deal due to pressure from the United States, a year after Washington itself pulled out of the pact.

Iran announced earlier on Wednesday that it chose to suspend some of its commitments under its 2015 nuclear deal.

TRT World's Arabella Munro has this report. For now, Iran's stockpile of enriched uranium is still well below the deal's cap and heavy water is less sensitive. If they fail to meet the deadline, Rouhani threatened to begin enriching uranium at levels now prohibited under the agreement.

On April 22, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the 180-day USA waivers for major importers of Iran's oil formally expired on May 2, which aggravates the impacts of tough pressures on Iran. Weapons-grade uranium requires a 90 percent enrichment, though some analysts warn that Iran could reach that threshold relatively quickly given how advanced its nuclear program had become prior to the nuclear deal's enactment.

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The US naval deployment marks the latest in a series of moves by the Trump administration aimed at ratcheting up pressure on Iran in recent months.

"The US is to blame for the situation and it makes it hard for both Iran to fulfill its obligations and. for the general state of the nuclear non-proliferation regime", said Lavrov.

"We hope to use our traditionally friendly relations with Iran to solve problems through dialogue and achieve peace and stability in the region", Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said, adding that Iran playing a "constructive" role is important.

"This morning on my way here I heard that Iran intends to continue its nuclear programme", Netanyahu said at a ceremony on Israel's annual day of remembrance for its fallen soldiers and civilian victims of militant attacks.

Jamal Abdi, president of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), expressed concern about the Iranian government's decision to begin pulling back from the nuclear accord-but noted the move did not "occur in a vacuum". "We will continue to fight those who would kill us".

Tehran said it would abandon even more limitations if the remaining parties to the agreement - Britain, China, France, Germany and Russian Federation - failed to start delivering on their commitments to sanctions relief within 60 days. He also said Iran would uphold its obligations if European signatories to the deal upheld theirs.

In a speech broadcast on national television on Wednesday, Rouhani said the remaining signatories - Britain, France, Germany, China and Russian Federation - had 60 days to make good on their promises to protect Iran's oil and banking sectors.