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Nuclear Deal: Tehran Announces Enrichment Breach

Iran has made known its intention to break uranium enrichment limit, in violation of the landmark 2015 deal designed to curb its nuclear ambitions.

Deputy foreign minister Abbas Araqchi said Iran would commence uranium enrichment above a concentration of 3.67% within a few hours, to provide fuel for its Bushehr power plant, though it would not make fuel for Tehran reactor, which requires a concentration of 20%, according Atomic Energy Organisation spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi.

Mr. Araqchi reiterated that Iran still wanted to salvage the deal but blamed European countries for failing to live up to their own commitments.

Tehran had given a 60-daydeadline to the remaining signatories of the deal – China, France, Germany, Russia and the UK – to protect it from US sanctions.

BBC quotes Araqchi as saying, “We will enrich uranium based on our needs,” “Right now we don’t need to enrich uranium for the Tehran reactor.”

Mr Araqchi, who maintained that Iran would keep reducing its commitment to the 2015 deal every 60 days, however, did not rule out diplomacy, if sanctions are lifted.

Sunday announcement marks the latest step in violation of the 2015 accord. Tehran had in May made it known that it would increase d uranium enrichment, useable to make fuel for reactors as well as nuclear weapons.

However, Iran denies any aspiration of building nuclear weapons.

Already stockpiles of enriched uranium more than permitted under the accord are on ground.

Meanwhile, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), UN’s nuclear watchdog, has said its inspectors would report back to headquarters “as soon as they verify the announced development”, according to its spokesman cited by BBC.

President Donald Trump had unilaterally withdrawn the United States from the agreement in 2018, re-imposing tight sanctions crippling the Iranian economy.

Culled from BBC

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