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Iran says it will enrich uranium to higher levels

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said yesterday that Iran will begin increasing uranium enrichment to any level that it requires.

Rouhani told a cabinet meeting in Tehran that Iran will increase it enrichment of uranium over 3.67 per cent beginning on Sunday, in explicit violation of the JCPOA nuclear agreement.

Rouhani said his advice for Europe and the US is: “To go back to logic and to the negotiating table. Go back to understanding, to respecting the law and resolutions of the UN Security Council. Under those conditions, all of us can abide by the nuclear deal.”

The French foreign ministry spokeswoman Agnes von der Muhll said in response: “Iran will gain nothing by leaving the Vienna accord. Putting it (the deal) into question will only increase the already heightened tensions in the region. That’s why France with its European partners have asked strongly that Iran reverse the excess enrichment without delay and refrain from further measures that undermine its nuclear commitments.”

Asked by a reporter during a daily briefing whether the symbolic trade mechanism planned by Europe would soon begin to offer any pharmaceutical and food transfers, von der Muhll said: “This mechanism is now operational and the processing of the first transactions has been initiated.”

US President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter that Iran should: “Be careful with the threats … they can come back to bite you like nobody has been bitten before.”

On Monday Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said the country had allowed its stockpile of low-enriched uranium to exceed 300kg. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt told Sky News on Monday: “We want to preserve that deal because we don’t want Iran to have nuclear weapons but if Iran breaks that deal then we are out of it as well.”