Iran ready for higher uranium enrichment, says Ayatollah Khamenei’s top aide

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 07 July 2019, 01:07 PM
Ali Akbar Velayati said that “Americans directly and Europeans indirectly violated the deal.”
Ali Akbar Velayati said that “Americans directly and Europeans indirectly violated the deal.”

Ahead of deadline Iran set for Europe to offer new terms to the nuclear accord, 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.

Earlier, Donald Trump warned Iran that its threats could “come back to bite” after Tehran vowed to exceed the maximum uranium enrichment level allowed by a landmark 2015 nuclear accord. “Iran has just issued a New Warning. Rouhani says that they will Enrich Uranium to ‘any amount we want’ if there is no new Nuclear Deal,” Trump tweeted, referring to Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani.

“Be careful with the threats, Iran. They can come back to bite you like nobody has been bitten before!” Iran is acting on its May 8 threat to suspend parts of the agreement in response to Trump’s re imposition of crippling sanctions after withdrawing from it in May last year.

The US withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran last year, imposing punishing sanctions, and relations have sharply deteriorated since. 

First Published: Sunday, July 07, 2019 07:36 AM
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