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Iran tells United Nations it will boost uranium enrichment capacity

06 June 2018

Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman for Iran's nuclear agency, was quoted by state TV on Tuesday as saying a letter was submitted to the International Atomic Energy Agency detailing the move.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordered the increase in nuclear enrichment in a speech on Monday.

US President Donald Trump pulled out last month from the 2015 accord between Iran and world powers that lifted sanctions on Tehran in exchange for curbs to its nuclear program.

"Iran's announcement of its intention to accelerate uranium enrichment shows that Tehran's decision-makers are in a state of panic and that could enable them to build a nuclear bomb", he said.

"Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's declaration is a sign of hysteria and mass panic in the Iranian leadership".

Iran has strictly and in all circumstances denied pursuing any military ambitions through its nuclear work.

The EU said that a first assessment indicated the new steps announced by Iran did not constitute a violation of the agreement.

Hoping to protect their interests, the Europeans have proposed hammering out a supplementary deal with Tehran covering its ballistic missile program as well as its interventions in countries such as Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

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The Israeli minister's comments come as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has embarked on a tour of Europe to persuade European leaders to follow the United States and ditch the Iran deal.

Katz noted that many global companies from France, England, Germany, Russia and other countries have already announced their intention to suspend their activity in Iran "because they don't want to be subject to the American sanctions".

At the same time, relations between Israel and Iran have dramatically escalated over the latter's alleged military presence in Syria, being further exacerbated by a suspected Israeli attack in the suburbs of Syria's Damascus against arms depots, which according to Tel Aviv belonged to Tehran's Revolutionary Guards. Iran will announce that the process of increasing the capacity to produce...

The nuclear accord is "secondary", the Israeli prime minister said in Berlin.

The European powers are trying to come up with a package to ring-fence trade with Iran against renewed USA financial sanctions to dissuade Tehran from quitting the accord.

"By preventing Iran's military entrenchment in Syria, we're also preventing something that could be very, very risky for Europe", he added.

"If we were progressing normally, it would have taken six or seven years, but this will now be ready in the coming weeks and months", Salehi said. "Yesterday, he explained how he wants to do it - with unlimited uranium enrichment to create a nuclear arsenal", he said.

A senior diplomat in Vienna, where the IAEA is based, said the call for timely cooperation did not mean that Iran had breached any of the rules of the accord but that the agency was "encouraging (Iran) to go above and beyond the requirements" of the deal.

Iran tells United Nations it will boost uranium enrichment capacity