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Tehran admits to breaching nuclear deal amid international unease

Salaam Times and AFP


Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei speaks in front of an assembly on July 3 in Tehran. Khamenei was recently sanctioned by the United States for destabilising activities against international economic interests. [Iranian Ministry of Defence]

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei speaks in front of an assembly on July 3 in Tehran. Khamenei was recently sanctioned by the United States for destabilising activities against international economic interests. [Iranian Ministry of Defence]

TEHRAN -- The Iranian regime Monday (July 8) admitted to breaching the uranium enrichment cap set by a 2015 international nuclear deal.

Tehran's surpassing the cap and reaching 4.5% enrichment was announced by the country's atomic energy organisation spokesman, Behrouz Kamalvandi.

"This level of purity completely satisfies the power plant fuel requirements of the country," he said, quoted by the semi-official ISNA news agency.

Cascade of international objections

The European Union said it was "extremely concerned" by the development and called on the Iranian regime to "reverse all activities" inconsistent with its deal commitments.

France, Germany and Britain -- the European partners of the international deal -- on Sunday (July 7) urged Tehran to halt its advance towards breaching the cap.

But Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi warned against any escalatory response.

If the Europeans "do certain strange acts, then we would skip all the next steps [in the plan to scale back commitments] and implement the last one", he said.

He did not specify what the final step would be, but Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had warned previously that Iran could leave the nuclear accord.

Russia is concerned over Iranian plans to breach the uranium enrichment cap set by the 2015 nuclear deal -- the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday.

"The situation is of course concerning," he told journalists. "Russia aims to continue dialogue and efforts on the diplomatic front. We are still supporters of the JCPOA."

Tehran will face "further isolation and sanctions", US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted Sunday.

The regime has exceeded a 300kg limit on enriched uranium reserves, a cap that was imposed by the deal, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed this month.

The IAEA has scheduled a special meeting on the Iranian nuclear programme for July 10.

World against further nuclear enrichment

The Iranian regime has been ignoring calls from governments around the world to stop its pursuance of further uranium enrichment in violation of the 2015 nuclear deal.

Last week, Russia, China, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States were just a few of the nations calling for the regime to cease its activity.

The news comes amid heightened tensions after Iranian forces shot down a US drone over international waters and attacked several oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz.

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