Iran Moves to Lift Its Nuclear Enrichment Capacity

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

UK Learns Iran Planned to Enrich Uranium for Military Use

Iran 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 the USA pulled out.

"If conditions allow, maybe tomorrow night at [the Natanz enrichment plant], we can announce the opening of the center for production of new centrifuges", Salehi said, quoted by the semiofficial Fars news agency.

A reaction to Trump's withdrawal?

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had ordered the increase in capacity in a speech Monday, in which he vowed that Iran would preserve its nuclear program despite the US withdrawal from the landmark 2015 accord.

President Donald Trump pulled America out of the deal last month.

In the face of the United States retreat, Merkel, Macron, and May have all strongly defended the agreement as the best way to head off a regional arms race and have vowed with Russian Federation and China, the two other signatory countries to the deal, to keep it alive.

Tensions between Washington and Tehran were reignited after Trump pulled the USA out of the controversial Iran nuke deal, which he claimed would not stop the country from developing deadly warheads.

In a single sentence that would have done any German academic proud - it was 111 words long - Ms. Merkel agreed that Israel and Germany were in agreement to "undertake all diplomatic efforts" to restrain Iran's ballistic program and activities in Yemen and Syria.

"I didn't ask France to withdraw from the JCPOA (Iran deal) because I think it is basically going to be dissolved by the weight of economic forces", Netanyahu told a joint news conference with French President Emmanuel Macron.

More news: Going it alone: U.S. alienates allies before taking on Beijing

The announcement comes as members of the European Union struggle to salvage the global pact just weeks after President Trump withdrew the United States from the agreement.

Washington and Tel Aviv, and to a lesser extent their Western and Arab partners, have claimed that Tehran's nuclear energy program harbors military aspects.

"In a letter that will be handed over to the International Atomic Energy Organisation". The UN watch dog has verified Iran's compliance with the deal in 12 quarterly reports.

Iran has strictly and in all circumstances denied pursuing any military ambitions through its nuclear work.

The arrangement, agreed by previous president Barack Obama, meant to halt Iranian efforts to develop a nuke. Seeking to undo almost every Obama administration legacy, Trump came into office calling it the "worst deal ever".

'It's important to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. The Israeli leader repeatedly slammed the deal despite his own military and intelligence chiefs' assessment the that JCPOA, while not ideal, was working and should be maintained.

He stressed he had "no indication" that Iran had breached the terms of the deal, which Trump walked away from last month. Britain, France and Germany have suggested addressing other concerns about Iran through a supplemental agreement.

Supporters also fear the reimposition of United States sanctions could hit European firms that have done business with Iran since the accord was signed.

Latest News