Israel urges snapback sanctions on Iran if it breaches uranium limit

Heavy water nuclear facility near Arak Iran

U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from that deal last May, keeping his campaign promise to end the agreement reached by former President Barack Obama.

Kamalvandi said Iran would return to the previous commitments if European countries take "practical measures" to ensure Iranian interests.

But Iran has repeatedly criticised delays in setting up a European mechanism that would shield trade with Iran from USA sanctions in an effort to save the nuclear deal.

"Today the countdown to pass the 300 kilograms reserve of enriched uranium has started and in 10 days time. we will pass this limit", Iran's atomic energy organisation spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi told a news conference broadcast live on state television.

Meanwhile, the USA has blamed Iran for attacks on two ships passing through the Strait of Hormuz last week and other attacks in recent weeks in the Mideast, claims Tehran has denied.

This comes as the United States continues to blame Iran for attacking two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman Thursday without offering any new evidence.

Spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), Behrouz Kamalvandi, said Monday. that Iran will surpass uranium stockpile limits under the JCPOA by June 27.

That increase could be to any level from 3.67%, the current limit set by the nuclear deal.

He also said after June 27 Iran will speed up its uranium enrichment activities beyond 3.67 percent. Other countries fear that Iran's ability to produce enriched uranium brings it a step closer to developing weapons-grade nuclear material.

On Monday, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani met with France's new ambassador to Tehran.

Pompeo vows USA will guarantee ships passage through Strait of Hormuz
Such a move would disrupt oil tankers traveling out of the Gulf region and likely lead to a sharp rise in world oil prices. An American military response hasn't been ruled out, they said, and all options are on the table.

Tensions have risen in the region since last month.

In Brussels on Monday, European Union foreign ministers said they were still looking for more information on who might be behind the incident involving the tankers. In fact, the European signatories have already created a financial mechanism called Instex that aims to enable trade with Iran while evading USA sanctions - although, per the Atlantic, the US has threatened to sanction Instex too.

"The Iranians are running a nuclear racket: Iran threatens to expand its nuclear program unless Europe pays it not to", according to one USA official, who would only speak about the new sanctions on background. The United States says Iranian forces carried out the attack, but details of the attack are being disputed.

Cruz's new measure, which was viewed by the Free Beacon, would complement any new Trump administration sanctions, according to the senator's office. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the considering a full range of options. When it is highly enriched, uranium can be used as a fuel for nuclear weapons.

He further said that Iran may not need to export the surplus heavy water anymore in coming years.

The Japanese tanker's owner said its crew described "flying objects" as having targeted the vessel.

"The Iranian counterpart to INSTEX, which is called STFI, is basically a front for the CBI", said one source familiar with the Treasury Department's thinking on the matter.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that US and British intelligence needs to be compared with other information from allies.

In an interview with RT's Sophie Shevarnadze, Nathalie Tocci said Trump has "been led into a very different direction" than the one he might otherwise have gone in without input from Bolton. "The maximum restraint and wisdom should be applied", she said ahead of the monthly foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg.

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