Tehran has announced that it will start enriching uranium. The country is thus violating the international nuclear deal from 2015. It is a reaction to the US, which canceled the agreement last year.
The Iranian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Abbas Araqchi and a spokesperson for the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization, Behrouz Kamalvandi, confirmed this today, according to Iranian news channel PressTV.
The enrichment of uranium is a first step in making nuclear weapons or nuclear energy. Iran is now going to enrich to a higher percentage than the agreed 3.67 percent. Earlier this month, the country has already increased the supply of low-enriched uranium above the agreed maximum.
According to experts, Iran could now make a nuclear bomb in less than a year. Iran states that it is no longer required to adhere to the international agreement on limiting its nuclear program if other parties do not. The US canceled the agreement last year and again announced sanctions against Iran.
Iran is being hit hard economically by those sanctions. The nuclear deal that was concluded in 2015 would actually relieve the country from its economically dire and isolated position. President Hassan Rohani had set a “deadline” for the other countries in the agreement to find a way to limit the damage caused by leaving the US, for example through compensation. That deadline expired today. Araqchi says that Iran still wants to save the agreement and is open to negotiations with Europe and the US.