US President Donald Trump warned Iran on Sunday over its imminent breach of a uranium enrichment cap. “Iran better be careful, because you enrich for one reason, and I won’t tell you what that reason is. But it’s no good. They better be careful,” Trump told reporters.
However, the 3.67 percent enrichment limit set in the agreement is far below the more than 90 percent level required for a nuclear warhead.
Iran’s deputy foreign minister Abbas Araqchi on Sunday blamed European countries for failing to live up to their own commitments. Speaking at a press conference, Araqshi said Iran would start enriching uranium above a low concentration - higher than 3.67% - within a few hours. The US, earlier, withdrew from the agreement in 2018 and reimposed strict sanctions on Iran.
On Saturday, a top aide to Iran’s supreme leader says the Islamic Republic is ready to enrich uranium beyond the level set by Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal. In a hard-hitting message to Europe, Ali Akbar Velayati said that “Americans directly and Europeans indirectly violated the deal.” All this comes as America has rushed thousands of troops, an aircraft carrier, nuclear-capable B-52 bombers and advanced fighter jets to the Mideast.
In the video, available on a website for Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Velayati said increasing enrichment closers to weapons-grade levels was “unanimously agreed upon by every component of the establishment.”
“We will show reaction exponentially as much as they violate it. We reduce our commitments as much as they reduce it,” said Velayati, Khamenei’s adviser on international affairs.
“If they go back to fulfilling their commitments, we will do so as well.” Europe is struggling to salvage the 2015 accord against the odds.
On Friday, UN’s nuclear watchdog said it will hold an emergency meeting on Iran’s nuclear programme next week. This came days after Tehran breached one of the limits set in a 2015 deal with world powers. "The meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)’s board of governors, which follows a US request, would be held "on 10 July at 14:30," an IAEA spokesman said.