World

Iran to launch plan to boost uranium enrichment

Iran to launch plan to boost uranium enrichment

If Israel discovers that Iran has resumed the development of its nuclear program and is advancing it, "a US-led worldwide coalition will threaten and then deal Iran a military blow".

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has prepped Iranian scientists to increase its uranium enrichment capacity if its controversial nuclear deal with the United States falls apart.

Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman for the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization, was quoted by state media as saying that a letter had been submitted to the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) detailing Iran's move.

Under the 2015 deal with the US, France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China, Iran agreed to significantly curtail its uranium enrichment capacity so that it could not develop atomic bombs.

"Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's declaration is a sign of hysteria and mass panic in the Iranian leadership".

Iran denies the pursuit of an atomic programme for military purposes.

Iran has also developed the capacity to produce electricity at Natanz, Salehi said, a site which lies around 300 kilometers (186 miles) south of Tehran.

The Trump administration argues the nuclear deal doesn't address other unrelated issues such as Iran's ballistic missiles, regional influence, support for "terrorist" groups and human rights.

Merkel has acknowledged that while European powers see the JCPOA as the best guarantee against an Iran with nuclear weapons, it is "not perfect".

Israel has proposed that "a military coalition" be formed against Iran in case Tehran pursues "military-grade" uranium enrichment, suggesting that the military force would comprise of the Israeli regime, the U.S., the Western states and their Arab allies.

Speaking at a news conference with visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Macron said everyone involved should "stabilize the situation and not give into this escalation, which would lead to only one thing: conflict".

Mr Trump cited evidence of a secret nuclear programme, announced by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as a justification for stepping away from the deal. "We will not allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons".

Israel responded to a threatening tweet by Iran on Monday with a GIF from the hit movie "Mean Girls".

Khamenei, who makes the final decisions on all major policies in Iran, on Monday warned that anyone who fires one missile at his country "will be hit by 10" in response, but dismissed fears of war as "propaganda" by the West. But fears are growing in Tehran that European leaders will be unable to prevent Washington from reimposing sanctions on European companies, which would badly damage Iran's oil economy.

The remaining backers and parties to the agreement, however, have limited influence on Washington, whose wrath they also face after Mr Trump warned that the U.S. would impose sanctions on companies that continue to do business with Iran.

He said USA "illegal withdrawal" from the deal and its "bullying methods to bring other governments in line" with that decision have discredited the rule of law in worldwide arena.


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