Iran’s Supreme Leader Orders Uranium Enrichment Preparations as Nuclear Deal Frays

06 June, 2018, 03:32 | Author: Rachel Logan
  • Read more Iran in compliance with nuclear deal UN report

During a joint press conference following their talks, Macron reaffirmed his commitment to the nuclear deal but said that an additional agreement could be added to target Iran's ballistic programme.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordered the increase in nuclear enrichment in a speech on Monday.

The agreement set strict limits on Iran's uranium enrichment - a critical component for both civil nuclear power generation and military nuclear weapons - in return for the lifting of United States and global sanctions.

The Iran deal paved the way for the partial lifting of worldwide sanctions against the country, in exchange for Tehran curbing its nuclear programme for several years.

The threat prompted a response from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who reminded the world this is exactly why Iran can never be allowed to obtain a nuclear weapon.

The memorandum that was shown to The Times was, according to Israeli intelligence, dated to 2001, and authorized the military to take over the task of enriching uranium hexafluoride (UF6) by centrifuges, from 3 percent to more than 90 percent.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), better known as the Iran nuclear deal, was signed in 2015 by United States, China, Russia, France, Germany and Britain (P5+1) and Iran following years of negotiations.

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

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Like Trump, Netanyahu has been a fierce critic of the deal, saying the agreement left Iran with the potential to quickly develop a nuclear weapon when the terms expire.

That document, examined by The Times, is dated by Israel to 2001 and authorizes the Iranian military to enrich uranium hexafluoride (UF6) by centrifuges from three percent to more than 90 percent - levels which suggest that Iran meant to build a nuclear weapon.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continued his Europe tour on Tuesday with the aim to rally support against Iran.

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"If Iran does not get the financial guarantees in oil and access to the financial system, then I don´t see Iran sticking to the deal because the pressure from (Iranian) hardliners is only increasing", said a Western official".

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas huddled with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on Thursday and insisted that Berlin "wants to maintain the nuclear agreement and make sure Iran maintains it too".

"We are not surprised [by Iran's announcement]", he said in a video statement.

"The Arabs and Israel surely would be there too", Katz told Israel Radio, adding that if Tehran made a decision to restart uranium enrichment; "a military coalition will be formed against them [Iranians]".

"The supreme leader's threat to step up enrichment is an attempt to use nuclear blackmail to force Europe to save his regime from an economic and political crisis of his own making", Dubowitz said.

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