Iran announces increase in uranium enrichment

Iranian officials announced Sunday that Tehran will increase its uranium enrichment beyond the limit set under the Obama-era nuclear deal amid rising tensions with the U.S., according to The Associated Press. 

Officials said during a news conference the level would rise beyond the 3.67 percent cap, without providing specifics, the AP reported. 

“Within hours, the technical tasks will be done and enrichment above 3.67 percent will begin,” Iran nuclear agency spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi reportedly said. “We predict that the IAEA measurements early tomorrow morning will show that we have gone beyond 3.67 percent.”

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Iran’s breach of the multinational agreement is not unprecedented. President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocratic senator: White House has ‘used cruelty to children’ as a tool of immigration policy Amash: ‘High-level’ Republicans privately thanked me for supporting Trump impeachment UN official: US can’t ignore that climate change will force 120 million people into poverty MORE withdrew from the deal in 2018 and reimposed sanctions on Tehran. 

In May, Iran announced it was quadrupling its uranium production capacity and mid-June it would exceed the stockpile limit by the end of the month. 

Tehran gave remaining signatories a July 7 deadline before taking further steps toward increasing uranium enrichment levels. 

Abbas Araghchi, a deputy foreign minister, said Iranian officials sent a letter to the European Union outlining the steps Iran has taken, AP reports. Discussions with European leaders are continuing with talks planned later this month. 

French President Emmanuel MacronEmmanuel Jean-Michel MacronIran announces increase in uranium enrichment France has turned into one of the worldwide threats to free speech France calls on Iran to reverse excess uranium enrichment MORE and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani agreed to resume talks by July 15 to save the nuclear deal during a phone call, according to the BBC.

Israel’s energy minister, Yuval Steinitz, said on Sunday that Iran is “brushing off” red lines that were agreed to and has “begun its march, a march that is not simple, toward nuclear weaponry,” Reuters noted.

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–This report was updated at 8:45 a.m.

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