Iran says it has breached 2015 nuclear deal’s stockpile limit. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has confirmed that Iran exceeded the relevant limit of 300 kg of uranium hexafluoride, but Foreign Ministry spokesman said Iran’s steps to decrease its commitments to the nuclear deal are reversible.
Iran stepped up production of enriched uranium, which is used to make reactor fuel and potentially nuclear weapons, in response to reinstated US sanctions. Earlier, European nations had warned that any violation will bring consequences.
Donald Trump’s Reaction
US President Donald Trump, asked if he had a message for Iran, said: “No message to Iran. They know what they’re doing. They know what they’re playing with, and I think they’re playing with fire. So, no message to Iran whatsoever.”
The White House said earlier it would continue to apply “maximum pressure” on Iran “until its leaders alter their course of action.” It also said Iran should be held to a standard barring all uranium enrichment. However, there is no international standard prohibiting Iran from enriching uranium, said Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association. “That is not the case. That is an American position,” he said.
What is Nuclear Deal
Enriched uranium is produced by feeding uranium hexafluoride gas into centrifuges to separate out the most suitable isotope for nuclear fission, called U-235. Under the nuclear deal, Iran is only permitted to produce low-enriched uranium, which has a 3-4% concentration of U-235, and can be used to produce fuel for nuclear power plants.
Weapons-grade uranium is 90% enriched or more. The deal also restricted Iran to stockpiling no more than 300kg of the low-enriched uranium. A stockpile of 1,050kg, however, could be further enriched later into enough material to build one bomb, according to the Arms Control Association. Iran strongly denies any intention to build nuclear weapons.
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