Iran nuclear deal: Tehran to give notice of uranium work

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is interviewed by The Associated Press in New York

Iran says it has informed the United Nations nuclear agency that it has launched the process of increasing its capacity to enrich uranium in case the 2015 agreement that curbed its nuclear program collapses.

Israel's intelligence minister called for a military coalition against Iran if the Islamic Republic were to defy world powers by enriching military-grade uranium.

Iran said on Tuesday (Jun 5) it has launched a plan to boost uranium enrichment capacity with new centrifuges, raising the pressure on European diplomats scrambling to rescue the crumbling nuclear deal after Washington pulled out.

The other parties - Britain, France, Germany, China and Russian Federation - have vowed to stay in the accord but many of their companies have already started to wind down Iranian operations.

"By preventing Iran's military entrenchment in Syria, we're also preventing something that could be very, very risky for Europe", he added.

"However, at this particularly critical juncture, they will not contribute to build confidence in the nature of the Iranian nuclear program".

The Iranian authorities have said that if the European countries fail to keep the pact alive, Tehran has several options, including enrichment of its uranium to 20% purity.

Earlier, Netanyahu said the Iranian plan to increase its nuclear enrichment capacity was aimed at producing nuclear weapons to be used against Israel, its archrival.

The modest planning steps Salehi announced do not immediately violate the landmark nuclear deal but would if new centrifuges were assembled and put into operation. Under the global agreement, Iran agreed to dismantle its nuclear program and be subject to monitoring in exchange for the lifting on worldwide nuclear related sanctions.

French President Emmanuel Macron has been pushing for a new Iran nuclear deal through which the U.S. and Europe could tackle Trump's concerns about Tehran's nuclear program and beyond.

Trump abandoned the agreement on 8 May, arguing that he wanted a bigger deal that not only limited Iran's atomic work but also reined in its support for proxies in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon and that curbed its ballistic missile program.

In exchange, Iran received relief from sanctions, most of which were rescinded in January 2016.

During visits to Germany, France, and the United Kingdom on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday respectively, Netanyahu will attempt to convince Merkel, Macron, and May that the nuclear agreement to which their countries are party is based on the falsehood that Iran had never pursued a nuclear weapons program, and is therefore essentially invalid.

As for curbing Iran's worldwide influence, the supreme leader stressed that "we will continue our support for oppressed nations". The Europeans have expressed unease with Iran's ballistic missiles and its efforts to manipulate the politics of the Middle East.

Iran's nuclear chief says the country has upgraded the power installations at its Natanz facility to realize its long-term goals.

Related news:

Hot News