Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Iran ready to increase enrichment speed

Iran ready to increase enrichment speed

The deal is "a crucial agreement that makes the world safer", British foreign secretary Boris Johnson said on Thursday (AP).

The JCPOA was reached between Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council - Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States - plus Germany, in July 2015.

Zarif noted in a tweet the "strong consensus in Brussels" that Tehran is respecting its obligations and that "Iran's continued compliance (is) conditioned on full compliance by the U.S". Trump openly supported those protesters on Twitter.

If he does allow the punitive measures to go back into effect, Iran will accuse the United States of breaking the deal, under which Tehran accepted restrictions on its nuclear program.

On Monday, Iran's deputy foreign minister Abbas Araghchi warned that "the global community must be prepared for the U.S. possibly pulling out of the JCPOA", he said.

The Associated Press cited unnamed administration officials saying lawmakers had made progress in amending United States legislation that governs Washington's participation in the landmark agreement, allowing Trump to extend relief from economic sanctions to Tehran. This criticism was redoubled amid rare street protests in several Iranian cities in recent weeks.

"It is important that we are properly prepared for any circumstances in such a way that if higher management will take a decision on nuclear activity, in particular, the acceleration of [uranium enrichment], we will be ready", Kamalvandi told the IRIB news agency.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said the European Union wants to preserve the deal "because it is in our interest not to develop or to see that nuclear weapons are developed in Iran".

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The spokesman for Iran's atomic energy organization told state television that the Islamic Republic stood poised to resume its nuclear program at a far greater speed than it had done prior to the 2015 nuclear deal.

To counter Trump's reluctance to waive sanctions, sources said, top aides are proposing that the president instead impose new targeted sanctions on Iranian businesses and people related to its ballistic-missile and nuclear programs.

In a Washington Post op-ed published last Thursday berating the Obama administration for its handling of Iran, Vice President Mike Pence said that additional actions definitely were an option, given the latest protests.

In reaction to US President Donald Trump's likely decision on the JCPOA in the coming days, he said that one of Trump's policies is his unpredictability.

The administration has not revealed its intentions, but the Iran unrest is seen as a possible pretext for blowing up the nuclear accord.

Trump may also reimpose the nuclear sanctions by executive order at any time. Lavrov and Zarif also agreed to continue bilateral contacts in connection with the situation surrounding the Iran nuclear deal.

At a meeting hosted in Brussels by European foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on January 11, European powers that helped to negotiate the accord were expected to reassure Iran that they remain committed to it.

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