Iran informs United Nations of increase in nuclear enrichment capacity

Iran informs United Nations of increase in nuclear enrichment capacity

Ali Akbar Salehi, director of Iran's atomic program and a vice president, also confirmed that his country had started working on advanced centrifuges at its Natanz facility.

It was unclear whether the assembly center would actually begin to produce new centrifuges.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had ordered the increase in a speech Monday, in which he vowed that the country would preserve its nuclear program despite the US withdrawal from the landmark 2015 accord.

Mr Netanyahu presented the documentation in a televised announcement in May, days before US President Donald Trump dropped out of the deal.

But the remaining backers of the accord have limited power to protect Iran's economic interests in the face of U.S. sanctions, with Trump showing little inclination to spare European Union companies.

At the start of a three-day European tour dominated by strategic differences on Iran, Netanyahu charged that Tehran has been able to bankroll a growing military presence in countries such as Syria and Yemen because sanctions had been lifted in exchange for its halt in nuclear enrichment activities.

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.

The supreme leader also reiterated his support for the country's ballistic missile program.

Khamenei has dismissed these suggestions, and laid out Iran's demands for staying in the deal.

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It significantly raises the pressure on Europe to end the JCPOA nuclear deal with Iran, inasmuch as it proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that the entire agreement was based on a lie, and continues on the same premise. The decision threw a cloud of uncertainty over the future of the nuclear accord and raised tensions with United States allies in Europe.

European partners, including France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, are now rapidly negotiating to rein in Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

The Iran deal paved the way for the partial lifting of worldwide sanctions against the country, in exchange for Tehran curbing its nuclear programme for a number of years.

"In a letter that will be handed over to the International Atomic Energy Organisation".

Iran insists its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful, and that its compliance with the deal has been verified by the IAEA. The JCPOA allows Iran to pursue a peaceful nuclear program for commercial, medical and industrial purposes in line with global non-proliferation standards.

The arrangement, agreed by previous president Barack Obama, meant to halt Iranian efforts to develop a nuke. Seeking to undo almost every Obama administration legacy, Trump came into office calling it the "worst deal ever".

The nuclear deal and lifting of punishing nuclear related worldwide sanctions created optimism in Iran after years of economic isolation. Saudi Arabia and the UAE are the other main opponents of the nuclear deal. Though committed to the deal, European powers share Trump's concerns and want broader talks with Iran to address the issues.

Iran now is using almost 5,000 centrifuges and enriching uranium at 3.5 per cent.

For all of Iran's fierce public riposte to USA threats of tougher sanctions, some senior Iranian officials see the US position as a "bargaining strategy" and believe the door to a diplomatic compromise should stay open.

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