Middle East

Trump threatens Iran over uranium enrichment

Iran made the expected move last week, putting it out of compliance with the 2015 deal originally agreed under then-US President Barack Obama and five other nations. Tehran had earlier warned it would increase uranium enrichment if the deal's European signatories did not help ease sanctions on its banking and oil sectors. "Iran better be careful," Trump said on Sunday."Because you enrich for one reason and I won't tell you what the reason is. But it's no good; they better be careful," he said before boarding Air Force One in New Jersey. Tehran has long maintained that it is not developing a nuclear weapons program and its enrichment and research is focused on non-military uses. Iran's President Hassan Rouhani warned as early as May that Iran would no longer abide by some of its commitments limiting the production of fissile material, due to Washington's own withdrawal from the agreement and increased diplomatic and military pressure on Tehran. On Sunday, Iran announced it had begun enriching uranium past the previous limit of 3.67%. The level of enrichment then surpassed 4.5% on Monday, Behrooz Kamalvandi, the spokesperson for Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, told Iranian news agency ISNA.Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed that Iran had exceeded the 3.67% mark on Monday, according to IAEA spokesman Frederik Dahl.Later on Monday, France announced it was dispatching a top diplomat to Tehran to try and de-escalate tensions over Iran's nuclear program, a spokesperson for French President Emmanuel Macron said.The spokesperson said Macron's diplomatic adviser Emmanuel Bonne would travel to Tehran on Tuesday, adding that France will work towards resuming dialogue between all parties by July 15.France is increasingly acting as an intermediary in the Iran-US standoff. According to White House spokesman Judd Deere, Trump also spoke with Macron over the phone on Monday, where "they discussed ongoing efforts to ensure that Iran does not obtain a nuclear weapon and to end Iran's destabilizing behavior in the Middle East." Iran is facing Read More – Source

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