The Iranian government threat to continue with uranium enrichment as they pulled out of part of the 2015 nuclear deal. The announcement comes exactly one year after US President Donald Trump withdrew America from the 2015 nuclear deal.
Iran has threatened to increase its uranium enrichment if new and better terms with world powers are not reached under the 2015 international nuclear deal within the next 60 days.
The announcement by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani comes exactly one year after US President Donald Trump withdrew America from the Obama-era accord and reimposed sanctions on Iran.
Mr Rouhani issued the ultimatum during a live televised address to the remaining signatories of the nuclear deal – Britain, China, the European Union, France and Germany.
State television reported letters outlining Tehran’s partial withdrawal from the 2015 accord had been sent to the countries’ ambassadors, and one would also go to Russia.
“This surgery is to save the [deal], not destroy it,” Mr Rouhani said.
He further states “If the five countries join negotiations and help Iran to reach its benefits in the field of oil and banking, Iran will return to its commitments according to the nuclear deal.”
Mr Rouhani said Iran was pulling out of some of its commitments under the 2015 accord and it would stop exporting excess uranium and heavy water from its nuclear programme, two requirements of the deal.
He however did not give details on the extent to which Iran was prepared to enrich uranium, assumptions may have it that, Iran is quite prepared for this. Because they have being silent since 2015 when the US counterpart President Donald Trump pulled out US of the deal.
The 2015 nuclear deal limits Iran to enriching uranium to 3.67%, which can fuel a commercial nuclear power plant.
Weapons-grade uranium needs to be enriched to around 90%.
However, once a country enriches uranium to around 20%, scientists say the time needed to reach 90% is halved. Iran has previously enriched to 20%.
Mr Rouhani warned of a firm response if the matter was referred again to the United Nations Security Council, but said Tehran was ready for negotiations over its nuclear programme.
There was no immediate response from the States, but Russian state-owned news agency RIA quoted Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov as saying Iran’s partial withdrawal from the accord was a direct response to “Washington’s irresponsible behaviour”.
Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, in Moscow for talks with Mr Lavrov, warned in a tweet: “After a year of patience, Iran stops measures that US has made impossible to continue,” adding that world powers have “a narrowing window to reverse this”.
Reacting to Mr Rouhani’s televised statement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “We will not allow Iran to achieve nuclear weaponry. We will continue to fight those who would kill us.”