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Iran says it will breach nuclear deal limits on enriched uranium, the latest escalation after US accused it of attacking oil tankers

Business Insider | Jun 17, 2019, 04.21PM IST

FILE PHOTO: An oil tanker is seen after it was attacked at the Gulf of Oman, in waters between Gulf Arab states and Iran, June 13, 2019. ISNA/Handout via REUTERS

Reuters

An oil tanker is seen after it was attacked at the Gulf of Oman.

  • Iran says it will break the limit for uranium enrichment agreed with the US as part of the 2015 nuclear deal.
  • It follows accusations from the US that Iran attacked two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday.
  • The Trump administration withdrew from the deal last year.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Iran says it will break its limit for uranium enrichment agreed in its 2015 nuclear deal, the latest escalation in tensions after the US accused Iran of sabotaging oil tankers last week.

Under the 2015 deal - formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) - Iran agreed with the Obama administration and several European states to limit uranium prodcution.

It said it would stick to a 300kg of uranium hexafluoride to 3.7% until 2030.

US President Donald Trump formally withdrew the US from the deal in May 2018. The other western signatories said they would stick to the deal, but its authority was dramatically weakened by US withdrawal.

According to Reuters, Iran's Atomic Energy Organization spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi announced on Monday: "We have quadrupled the rate of enrichment and even increased it more recently, so that in 10 days it will bypass the 300 kg limit."

According to the Washington Post, Iran in May threatened to breach the 300kg uranium limit unless the remaining countries in the deal gave it economic concessions, giving them a 60-day deadline.

The latest Iranian deadline from Monday - June 27 - is around 10 days sooner than the threat from May.

Tensions are currently high between the US and Iran after unexplained attacks on two oil tankers off the Iranian coast on Thursday.

The US has said Iran is responsible for the attacks, and continued its criticism over the weekend.

On Sunday US secretary of state Mike Pompeo told Fox News that there was no doubt Iran had orchestrated the attack.

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