United States vows to maintain pressure on Iran amid tension

Joe Biden has derided Donald Trump as

"The previous administration's so-called deal didn't prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, it simply delayed it for roughly a decade".

The two threats would reverse major achievements of the agreement, although Iran omitted important details about how far it might go to returning to the status quo before the pact.

However, foreign sources said Iran bought its requirement for that grade of uranium from overseas. He urged European countries to sanction Iran in response.

Besides enriching uranium past the allowed 3.67% to 4.5%, the United Nations nuclear agency also confirmed Iran has surpassed the stockpile limit on low-enriched uranium.

Iran has said it will take another, third step away from the deal within 60 days. Mr. Kamalvandi also suggested using new or more centrifuges, which are limited by the deal.

The French official said both Iran and the United States had an interest in raising pressure at this stage, but both sides would want to start talks eventually.

Iran has been trying to gain European help in bypassing U.S. sanctions, which have targeted oil sales and top officials, including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The move came more than a year after Washington pulled out of the landmark accord between world powers and Tehran, which says it has lost patience with perceived inaction by the remaining European partners. And now, Tehran's official position is that it will only talk to the United States if Washington removes the JCPOA-related sanctions that it implemented previous year.

In May, after the U.S. ended exemptions from penalties for countries still importing Iranian oil, as well as those exchanging surplus Iranian low-enriched uranium for ore concentrate, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said it would retaliate by no longer abiding by the enriched uranium stockpile limit. That is because going from uranium's natural state of 0.7% concentration of U-235 to 20% takes about 90% of the total effort required to get to weapons-grade. "I wish they'd been concerned about the real theocratic takeover that has been happening in Iran for the last four decades".

That could change if Iran makes a dramatic break from the deal.

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Still, the threatened measures also appear meant to be sufficiently ambiguous to hold back from fully repudiating the deal.

A spokesman for the organisation said its director general, Yukiya Amano, had informed the IAEA board of governors that agency inspectors had verified on Monday that Iran was "enriching uranium above 3.67% U-235".

One of the main achievements of the deal was Iran's agreement to dismantle its advanced IR-2M centrifuges, used to purify uranium. He said the step would be "logical" and not done out of "spite" and done according to the country's needs.

US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on Monday said that the Donald Trump administration is "not done" with Iran and will continue its pressure campaign against Tehran in a bid to force it to abandon its nuclear ambitions.

Iran wants Europe to come up with a way to help it sell its crude oil overseas and get around USA sanctions, but Europe has yet to do so.

"This measure is a very unsafe step, and I call on my friends, leaders of France, Britain, Germany: You signed the deal and said the moment they'd take this measure, harsh sanctions would be imposed", Mr Netanyahu said at the start of a cabinet meeting.

The US' decision of pulling out from the agreement soured its ties with Iran. Last I checked, European Union was against extraterritoriality.

Vice President Mike Pence, who spoke to the same group, added a warning: 'Iran should not confuse American restraint with a lack of American resolve, ' reiterating Washington's resolve to protect US personnel and citizens in the Middle East.

"European countries have failed to uphold their commitments and they are also responsible", Abbas Araqchi, Iran's senior nuclear negotiator, told the news conference in Tehran.

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