Iran announced it has surpassed uranium enrichment levels set by the 2015 nuclear deal but did not specify how much more the enrichment levels would rise, according to several reports.
The announcement, which was first made on Iran’s state-run news agency, marks a major reversal from the terms set by the 2015 nuclear deal, which promised eased sanctions in exchange for Iran scaling back its nuclear ambitions.
President Trump delivered a strongly worded warning in response to Iran’s announcement:
“Iran better be careful. … Iran is doing a lot of bad things,” Trump said. “Iran will never have a nuclear weapon.”
Iran has said it was inching its program closer toward weapons-grade levels while calling for a diplomatic solution to a crisis that has raised tensions with the U.S.
Iran’s latest expansion of its nuclear program will lead to further isolation and sanctions. Nations should restore the longstanding standard of no enrichment for Iran’s nuclear program. Iran’s regime, armed with nuclear weapons, would pose an even greater danger to the world.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) July 7, 2019
Iranian officials while announcing the new level of uranium enrichment did not provide the percentage they planned to hit. Under the nuclear deal, the cap for enrichment was set at 3.67 percent, a percentage closely monitored by inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog.
“Within hours, the technical tasks will be done and enrichment above 3.67 percent will begin,” Iran nuclear agency spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said. “We predict that the IAEA measurements early tomorrow morning will show that we have gone beyond 3.67 percent.”
International reaction to Iran’s decision came quickly, with Germany saying it was “extremely concerned,” and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, a longtime critic of the accord, urging world powers to impose so-called “snapback sanctions” on Tehran.
The European Union said parties to the deal were discussing a possible emergency meeting after Iran’s announcement, with EU spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic saying the bloc was “extremely concerned” about the move.
'IT WAS IRAN': Israel Says TEHRAN Behind Gaza Mortar Barrage
Israeli officials publicly blamed Iran for the recent mortar attack on southern Israel Wednesday, saying Tehran was the “culprit” behind the barrage that included 180 Iranian-manufactured shells.
According to the Jerusalem Post, IDF Spokesperson Ronen Manelis confirmed the mortar shells were produced inside the Islamic Republic and smuggled into the region by Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
“Despite Israel’s intelligence superiority over terror groups, as well a blockade imposed both by the IDF and Egypt, Hamas and other terror groups in the Strip have restocked their supply of weapons in the four years since the last round of fighting between Israel and Hamas,” writes the Post.
“The mass-produced Iranian mortar shells used in Tuesday’s salvos were also used by Islamic Jihad in an attack in January and in a barrage 12 mortar shells fired toward an army outpost in November,” adds the author.
The revelation raises new questions over Iran’s influence in the region as the United States urges western allies and other nations to help clampdown on Tehran’s nuclear program.
BIBI’S BOMBSHELL: Israeli PM ‘HAS EVIDENCE’ Iran Violating Nuclear Deal
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed “dramatic” evidence Monday that the Iranian regime has been “lying” about its advanced nuclear weapons program; claiming the Islamic Republic was “hiding material” following the Obama-era agreement.
Netanyahu confirmed the revelation in a fiery press conference, adding that his government has received stunning new information in the previous “10 days” that the Iranian regime had relocated “half a ton” of covert files to a “secret location.”
“These files conclusively prove that Iran is brazenly lying when it says it never had a nuclear weapons program,” he said.
According to Fox News, Netanyahu briefed both President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo over the weekend.
The new report raises serious questions over the future of the Iranian nuclear agreement, with President Trump expected to make his final decision over the international pact in the coming weeks.