Iran informs IAEA of start of process to boost uranium enrichment

Iran informs IAEA of start of process to boost uranium enrichment

Iran will inform the United Nations nuclear watchdog in Vienna on Tuesday of its plan to begin the process of increasing the country's uranium enrichment capacity within the limits of the nuclear agreement, the country's atomic energy agency spokesman has said.

"The JCPOA (nuclear deal) does not belong to its signatories, so one party can reject it based on domestic policies or political differences with a former ruling administration", Zarif was quoted as saying in the letter, parts of which were published by the state news agency IRNA on Sunday.

The Iranian authorities have said that if the European countries fail to keep the pact alive, Tehran has several options, including enrichment of its uranium to 20% purity.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel backed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's call to eject Iran from Syria, but disagreed with the Israeli premier's contentions regarding the nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic.

Earlier on Monday, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei hinted at the move by warning European leaders against their "dream" of Tehran continuing to curb its nuclear programme while finding itself under new economic sanctions.

The agreement saw these countries ditching hefty sanctions against Iran, which would in turn not develop nuclear weapons.

On a visit to Berlin, Mr Netanyahu called on the International Atomic Energy Agency to investigate his claims to have discovered proof of Iran's efforts to build a nuclear weapon. "UF6 (uranium hexafluoride). will start on Tuesday", Kamalvandi said.

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Late last month, the supreme leader outlined Iran's demands for it to stay in the nuclear deal.

The deal allows Iran to continue 3.67 percent uranium enrichment, far below the roughly 90 percent threshold of weapons-grade.

All three countries have vowed to try to salvage the hard-fought accord since President Donald Trump announced the United States withdrawal from it last month.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Friday that Iran had no intention of curbing its influence in the Middle East and urged Arab youth to stand up to USA pressure.

In the face of the USA retreat, all three leaders strongly defend the agreement as the best way to head off a regional arms race and have vowed with Russian Federation and China, the two other signatory countries, to keep it alive.

European signatories have suggested that the JCPOA should be renegotiated to cover Iran's ballistic missile program and to curb its spreading influence in the Middle East, buoyed by conflicts in Yemen, Syria and Iraq.

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