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Iran Says to Raise Uranium Enrichment Level to 5%

Iran Says to Raise Uranium Enrichment Level to 5%

Saturday, 6 July, 2019 - 06:30
A handout file picture made available by the presidential office shows Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (C) and the head of Iran nuclear technology organization Ali Akbar Salehi inspecting nuclear technology on the occasion of Iran National Nuclear Technology Day in Tehran, Iran, 09 April 2019 (reissued 01 July 2019). AP

Iran will announce on Sunday that it will raise its uranium enrichment level to 5%, a concentration above the limit set by its 2015 nuclear deal with six major powers, an Iranian official told Reuters.

"The main announcement tomorrow will be the increase of the level of enrichment to 5% percent from 3.67% that we agreed under the deal," the official said on Saturday on condition of anonymity.

Iran's semi-official Fars news agency reported earlier that Iran's senior nuclear negotiator Abbas Araqchi will announce more cuts in its commitments to the pact on Sunday.

Earlier, a top aide to Iran's supreme leader said that Tehran was ready to enrich more uranium beyond the nuclear deal limit.

The statement comes just ahead of a deadline it set Sunday for Europe to offer new terms to the accord.

Ali Akbar Velayati said that "Americans directly and Europeans indirectly violated the deal."

European parties to the deal have yet to offer a way for Iran to avoid the sweeping economic sanctions imposed by President Donald Trump since he pulled the US out of the accord a year ago, especially those targeting its crucial oil sales.

In a video message, Velayati said that increasing enrichment closer to weapons-grade levels was "unanimously agreed upon by every component of the establishment."

"We will show reaction exponentially as much as they violate it. We reduce our commitments as much as they reduce it," he stressed.

Velayati, who is supreme leader Ali Khamenei's adviser on international affairs, stated: "If they go back to fulfilling their commitments, we will do so as well."

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