Iran says it will further breach nuclear deal in one month unless Europeans act

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(Reuters) – Iran told European powers on Monday it would further reduce compliance with its 2015 nuclear deal in about a month’s time if they were still failing to protect it from crippling U.S. sanctions, reimposed after Washington exited the deal.

European signatories to the deal have so far been helpless to prevent U.S. President Donald Trump trying to force Iran to accept stricter limits to its nuclear activity and regional behavior by strangling its vital oil trade. 

“With the continuation of the inaction of the Europeans in carrying out their commitments (to the nuclear deal) … Iran will take a third step (in reducing commitments) in approximately one month,” said Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran. 

Iran had increased its stockpile of heavy water above 130 tonnes and its reserve of enriched uranium above 300 kilograms, Kamalvandi told IRIB news agency. 

He did not specify what Iran’s next step would be, but Tehran warned last month it could reactivate centrifuge machines and ramp up enrichment of uranium to 20% fissile purity.

The deal – designed to forestall Iran making high-enriched uranium suitable for nuclear bombs in short order – permitted a maximum reserve of 300 kilograms of low-enriched uranium. It also set a cap of 130 tonnes of heavy water, which in large quantities can yield plutonium, an alternative atom bomb fuel.

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