Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on the international community to require Iran to suspend all uranium enrichment.
By World Israel News Staff
U.S. President Donald Trump has warned Iran that it is “playing with fire” after international inspectors said Monday that Tehran had broken the limit set by its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers on its permitted stockpile of low-enriched uranium.
The United Nations watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), confirmed the violation after the announcement made earlier on Monday by Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif that his country had made good on its vow to take the action if the European Union (EU) did not step in to save the deal. It marked Tehran’s “first major departure” from the agreement, just over a year after Trump withdrew from the accord, reports The Associated Press.
Trump has discussed the latest development with French President Emmanuel Macron, the White House said.
France joined China, Russia, Germany, Britain, and the U.S. Obama administration in reaching the 2015 agreement with the Islamic Republic. The current U.S. administration and the Israeli government charge that the deal did not fully address crucial issues: greater inspection of Iranian nuclear activity, its development of ballistic missiles, a sunset clause which fades out restrictions on Iran, and Tehran’s military activity elsewhere, including its support of Hezbollah and Hamas on Israel’s borders and its own involvement in Syria.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on the international community to require Iran to suspend all enrichment, even at levels allowed under the nuclear deal.
“The Iranian regime, armed with nuclear weapons, would pose an even greater danger to the region and to the world,” Pompeo said in a statement.
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, who was a key player in negotiating the deal, said the bloc was now urging Iran “to reverse this step and to refrain from further measures that undermine the nuclear deal,” said a spokeswoman, who added that Europe “remains fully committed to the agreement as long as Iran continues to fully implement its nuclear commitments.”
UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said he was “deeply worried” by Iran’s announcement.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Iran’s increased uranium enrichment was a “significant step toward making a nuclear weapon.”
However, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov defended Tehran’s violation of the nuclear accord, saying that it followed “unthinkable” U.S. pressure, a reference to recent sanctions imposed by Washington.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.