Iran says it will breach nuclear deal limits on its enriched uranium stockpile within 10 days
- Iran says it will break the limit for uranium enrichment agreed with the US as part of the 2015 nuclear deal.
- It follows accusations from the US that Iran attacked two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday.
- The Trump administration withdrew from the deal last year.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Iran says it will exceed limits on its enriched uranium stockpiles agreed in its 2015 nuclear deal, the latest escalation in tensions after the US accused Iran of sabotaging oil tankers last week.
Under the 2015 deal - formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) - Iran agreed with the Obama administration and several European states to limit uranium production.
It said it would stick to a 300kg of uranium hexafluoride, enriched to 3.7% until 2030. It now says it will breach the limit within 10 days.
US President Donald Trump formally withdrew the US from the deal in May 2018. The other western signatories said they would stick to the deal, but its authority was dramatically weakened by US withdrawal.
According to Reuters, Iran's Atomic Energy Organization spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi announced on Monday: "We have quadrupled the rate of enrichment and even increased it more recently, so that in 10 days it will bypass the 300 kg limit".
According to the Washington Post, Iran in May threatened to breach the 300kg uranium limit unless the remaining countries in the deal gave it economic concessions, giving them a 60-day deadline.
The Post also reported that stockpiles of above 300kg would put Iran in reach of a having a nuclear arsenal, with multiple bombs. As little as 15kg of enriched uranium is enough to build one nuclear bomb.
US sanctions against Iran have increased intermittently since the US pulled out of the JCPOA in May 2018.
On November 5, 2018, the US reimposed all of the sanctions on Iran that were halted when Iran signed the deal in 2015.
The US then imposed several new sanctions on Iranian industry, and said it plans to ultimately take no Iranian exports whatsoever.
One of those sanctions was on Iran's Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company, which the US says accounts for 50% of all petrochemical exports from Iran.
Then, in April 2019, the US said it would not renew waivers which had allowed some countries to buy Iranian oil. The Trump administration said it would punish those who continued with sanctions on those countries.
Tensions are currently high between the US and Iran after unexplained attacks on two oil tankers off the Iranian coast on Thursday.
The US has said Iran is responsible for the attacks, and continued its criticism over the weekend.
On Sunday US secretary of state Mike Pompeo told Fox News that there was no doubt Iran had orchestrated the attack.
Receive a single WhatsApp every morning with all our latest news: click here.
Also from Business Insider South Africa:
- This is how much it will cost you to open your own petrol station
- Huawei hammered: Chinese tech giant forecasts 40% drop in smartphone sales after US blacklisting nightmare
- Trump kicked his chief of staff out of the Oval Office for coughing during a TV interview
- Pink South African rescue buoys have saved 43 lives since 2017 – and now Australia is interested in them
- Watch Dr. Pimple Popper perform a 'Macgyver cyst punch,' a technique that's like coring an apple
- 23 'facts' you learned about healthy eating and nutrition as a kid that are no longer true
- SA children are changing the way they search for things on the internet – here’s what they are looking for, and how much of it is porn
- The US government is warning against poop transplants after a person died from E. coli following the procedure