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Iran vows to enrich uranium if US opts out of nuke deal


Iran will begin enriching uranium to fulfil its needs if the U.S. pulls out of a landmark nuclear deal signed in 2015, an Iranian official said Tuesday, APA reports quoting TASS.

 

The semi-official Tasnim News Agency quoted Mojtaba Zonnour, an Iranian MP and head of the Islamic Consultative Assembly's nuclear committee, as saying that U.S. President Donald Trump would most probably decide to opt out of the agreement.

 

He also posited another possible scenario: namely, that Trump might try to convince European countries to ratify an amended agreement imposing tougher conditions on Iran.

 

In both cases, Zonnour said, it would be “very difficult” for Iran to agree to new conditions.

 

In any event, the official added, it would take “some time” to restore the Arak heavy water reactor to its previous condition before the 2015 deal was concluded.

 

“Iran had been enriching uranium up to 20 percent before the agreement,” Zonnour said. “Under the terms of the deal, however, enrichment was brought down to 3.67 percent.”

 

Trump has said he would announce his final decision on whether or not to remain party to the agreement on Tuesday afternoon (U.S. time).

 

Meanwhile, the U.S. president has criticized former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for allegedly working behind the scenes with foreign officials in an effort to preserve the nuclear agreement.

 

The agreement placed unprecedented restrictions on Iran's nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in sanctions relief.

 

All of Washington’s negotiating partners -- the U.K., France, Germany, Russia, China and the EU -- agree that maintaining the accord is the best way to reign in Iran's nuclear program.

 

European officials have counseled Trump against opting out of the deal, while also floating the possibility of some kind of "side deal" on Iran's ballistic missile program and its military activities in the region.

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