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Iran Makes New Uranium Threat

Country is about to bust through levels set out in 2015 accord US withdrew from
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 17, 2019 6:30 AM CDT
Updated Jun 17, 2019 6:51 AM CDT
This file photo shows the nuclear facility near Arak, Iran.   (Hamid Foroutan/ISNA via AP, File)

(Newser) – Hostility between the US and Iran has been on the rise of late, and a new announcement out of Tehran about uranium is likely going to make things worse. On Monday, an Iranian nuclear official said the country is increasing its enrichment of low-grade uranium and will exceed stockpile limits set out in the 2015 accord with world powers in 10 days, reports CNN. The Trump administration pulled out of that pact last year and reimposed sanctions, but other nations—China, Russia, Germany, France, and Britain—have been trying to salvage the deal, per the Washington Post. The AP sees Monday's move as a sign that Iran is determined to scrap the accord, too.

In addition to breaking the stockpile limits, Iran said it also planned to increase enrichment to levels that would put it close to those necessary for a nuclear bomb in 60 days. "If Iran feels that the sanctions have been reinstated or not lifted, Iran has the right to partly or on the whole suspend its commitments," said the Iranian official, Behrouz Kamalvandi. He said world powers could still save the accord if they "abide by their commitments." The news comes in the wake of attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman—attacks the US has blamed on Iran. (Read more Iran stories.)

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