Iran Accelerates Production of Enriched Uranium as Tensions Rise

Clay Curtis
May 21, 2019

"I would say to the Iranians, do not underestimate the resolve on the USA side in the situation", British foreign minister Jeremy Hunt told reporters on Monday in Geneva.

Trump did not elaborate, nor did the White House.

"I'm not somebody who wants to go into war", Trump said in a Fox News interview.

The heavily fortified area within Baghdad was subjected to repeated rocket and other attacks throughout the US -led occupation of Iraq, which officially ended in 2011, but has been the target of sporadic indirect weapons fire since then, as well.

In Saudi Arabia, the kingdom's military said it intercepted two missiles fired by the Houthi rebels in neighboring Yemen. Instead of halting its nuclear program outright, Iran has gone ahead with enrichment, even if the amount exceeds the upper limit set out in the deal.

President Trump warned Iran early on Monday not to threaten the United States again or it would face its "official end", shortly after a rocket landed near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad overnight.

During the past week, social media users noted that Zarif "mentions" Trump in various tweets, hoping that the USA chief executive would respond to him and start a conversation.

Mitt Romney has joined the commander of the Revolutionary Guards in dismissing the threat of war between the USA and Iran, despite increasing tensions in the Persian Gulf amid strategic moves by Washington.

Leading Iraqi Shia figures with close ties to Iran warned on Monday against attempts to pull their country into a war between the USA and Tehran.

Gabbard, 38, enlisted in the U.S. Army National Guard after the September 11, 2001 attacks and was twice deployed to the Middle East. Gabbard has said she is running for president to end regime-change wars, though she now trails most of her 2020 opponents in opinion polls.

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The strike came days after four oil tankers- two of them Saudi - were targeted in an alleged act of sabotage off the coast of the United Arab Emirates. He said Iran "in weeks" would reach the 300-kilogram limit set by the nuclear deal.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet on Sunday announced it would begin "enhanced security patrols" in worldwide waters with members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

U.S. President Donald Trump is using the same hardline rhetoric against Iran that he used a year ago, as new tensions flare between Washington and Tehran.

On Sunday night, the U.S. military command that oversees the Mideast confirmed an explosion outside the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad and said there were no U.S. or coalition casualties.

Trump has tightened economic sanctions against Iran, and his administration says it has built up the U.S. military presence in the region.

A Norwegian insurers' report seen by Reuters said Iran's Revolutionary Guards were "highly likely" to have facilitated the attack on vessels near the UAE's Fujairah emirate, the main bunkering hub lying just outside the Strait of Hormuz.

Meanwhile, Oman's minister of state for foreign affairs made a previously unannounced visit Monday to Tehran, seeing Zarif, the state-run IRNA news agency reported. "The ball is in Iran's court".

Both the semi-official Fars and Tasnim news agencies reported on the increased production of enriched uranium.

Energy ministers from OPEC and its allies, including major producers Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation, are meeting in Saudi Arabia on Sunday to discuss energy prices and production cuts.

Saudi Arabia and Shi'ite Iran are arch-adversaries in the Middle East, backing opposite sides in several regional wars.

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