DUBAI: Iran announced on Sunday it will shortly boost its uranium enrichment above a cap set by a landmark 2015 nuclear deal, a major breach likely to draw a tougher reaction from President Donald Trump, who has pressured Tehran to renegotiate the pact.
In a sign of heightening tensions, France, Germany and Britain — all parties to the deal — expressed concerns over the step taken by Tehran, its latest effort to force the West to lift sanctions ravaging its limping economy.
STEP BACK EVERY 60 days
In a live news conference, senior Iranian officials threatened further violations, saying Tehran would keep reducing its commitments every 60 days, unless European signatories of protect it from US sanctions imposed by Trump.
“We are fully prepared to enrich uranium at any level and with any amount,” said Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman for Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization.
“In a few hours the technical process will come to an end and the enrichment beyond 3.67 per cent will begin,” he added, referring to the limit set in the 2015 agreement.
The European Union on Sunday strongly urged Iran to stop actions that would undermine a landmark 2015 nuclear deal, saying it was in touch with other parties to the deal and may set up a joint commission to look into the issue.
“We are extremely concerned at Iran’s announcement that it has started uranium enrichment above the limit of 3.67 per cent,” spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic for EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said in a statement.