United States President Donald Trump warned Iran on Sunday of enriching uranium saying, “Iran better be careful because you enrich for one reason, and I won’t tell you what that reason is, but it’s no good.”
On Sunday also, Iran announced that it will begin enriching uranium beyond the limit set in its 2015 nuclear deal with the international powers. Following the Iranian decision, the European powers parties of the deal with Iran; France, the UK, and Germany expressed concerns over the decision.
The spokesperson for Iran’s atomic agency, Behrouz Kamalvandi, said that the technical preparations for the new level of enrichment would be complete within a few hours and enrichment over 3.67% will begin.
In a press conference, Kamalvandi added that, “tomorrow -Monday- early in the morning, when the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) takes the sample we would have gone beyond 3.67%.”
Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Abbas Araghchi, told reporters that his country would keep reducing its commitments every 60 days unless signatories of the pact -the European powers- protect Tehran from US sanctions.
US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, said that “Iran’s latest expansion of its nuclear programme will lead to further isolation and sanctions. Nations should restore the longstanding standard of no enrichment for Iran’s nuclear programme. Iran’s regime, armed with nuclear weapons, would pose an even greater danger to the world.”
In May 2018, Trump pulled his country out of Iran’s nuclear deal ignoring the warnings of the European allies who stressed that they will uphold the deal, according to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
In 2015, along with the UK, France, Russia, Germany, and China, the US agreed on a long-term deal with Iran on its nuclear programme for sanctions relief. Under the deal, Iran would limit its nuclear activities and permit the IAEA to inspect its nuclear buildings to ensure that its sensitive nuclear programme will be exclusively peaceful.
Under the JCPOA, Iran unplugged two-thirds of its centrifuges, shipped out 98% of its enriched uranium, and filled its plutonium production reactor with concrete. The deal allows Iran to access more than $100bn of its frozen assets overseas, and Iran was able to resume selling oil in international markets and use the global financial system for trade.