Iran enriching uranium to 4.5% purity, IAEA tells member states

Clay Curtis
July 10, 2019

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday repeated his country's threat to ratchet up sanctions on Tehran and again denounced the 2015 nuclear deal Iran signed with world powers.

Iran is reducing its commitments to the JCPOA after the passage of a year as the remaining parties to the deal, including the European Union, have failed to shield Iran from the United States' sanctions.

President Donald Trump warned on Wednesday that USA sanctions on Iran would be increased "substantially" soon, as the United Nations nuclear watchdog held an emergency meeting at Washington's request to weigh Tehran's breach of a nuclear deal.

Zarif said on Twitter that Trump's national security adviser John Bolton and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had killed an earlier agreement in 2005 by insisting that Iran stop all uranium enrichment.

Iran has been calling on the European parties to the deal - France, Britain and Germany - to shield its economy from USA sanctions, and they have set up a vehicle for barter trade that will be able to handle small amounts.

In the past two weeks Iran has breached two limits pivotal to the 2015 deal, which aimed to extended the time Iran would need to obtain enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon, if it chose to do so, to a year from around two to three months.

Kazim Gharib Abadi, Iran's ambassador to the IAEA, told reporters following Trump's accusation that all Teheran's nuclear activities were being monitored by IAEA inspectors.

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Their destination depended on the Australia-South Africa game at Old Trafford, which went down to the wire. In that case, the match would continue Wednesday from where it left off rather than be re-started.

Iran has recently breached the deal's limits on uranium enrichment, in an attempt to pressure European partners to find a way around sanctions imposed by the US after it withdrew unilaterally from the pact previous year.

Iran announced on Monday that it has raised the concentration of its enriched uranium to 4.5 percent from 3.67 purity, a limit set by the nuclear agreement for Iran's enrichment concentration.

It was the Americans who abandoned the JCPOA, and the Europeans, while they did not leave the accord, practically did nothing else, Iranians add, The Islamic Republic of Iran has complied with its commitments, and from now on, the level of our commitment to the JCPOA will match the level of commitment of other parties; this is the solid and acceptable logic of Iran.

The United States said on Wednesday Iran's breaches of its nuclear deal are an attempt at extortion, warning Tehran that it is isolating itself while at the same time repeating that Washington is open to talks. "It is imperative that this misbehaviour not be rewarded, for if it is, Iran's demands and provocations will only escalate".

Tehran is ready to enrich uranium more than 20% in the 3rd step of easing its commitments in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), spokesman for Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation (AEOI) Behrouz Kamalvandi said.

Wolcott reiterated that Washington believes the deal was ineffective, but remains "open to negotiation without preconditions".

Hassan Rouhani was quoted by the official IRNA news agency Wednesday as calling the seizure "mean and wrong" during a cabinet meeting. Shamkhani goes on to criticize European countries for their "lack of will" in providing relief from USA sanctions. He warns London: "You are an initiator of insecurity and you will understand its repercussions", without elaborating. Iran denies any involvement in the attacks on the tankers and says the drone had veered into its airspace.

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