FEARS of open conflict in the Middle East surged after Iran indicated it could violate the 2015 nuclear deal it agreed by stockpiling more than 300kg of enriched uranium.
By James Bickerton 03:41, Sun, Jun 30, 2019 | UPDATED: 15:49, Sun, Jun 30, 2019
Iran: EU warned about uranium stockpile claims spokesman
The news was announced by the Fars news agency which is closely linked to the Iranian government. President Trump withdrew the US from the Iran nuclear deal in May last year and reimposed sanctions on Iran. A group of EU countries have launched a new trade vehicle, called the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX), to allow trade with Iran to continue whilst dodging US sanctions.
Fars quoted a senior Iranian official as saying the country would “soon” possess over 300kg of low grade enriched uranium.
Enriched uranium is a key component in making nuclear weapons, though Iran has always insisted its nuclear programme is peaceful.
Speaking to Fars the official commented: “Iran is determined to cut its commitments to the deal and the 300kg enriched uranium limit will be soon breached.”
However Iran would need to increase its enriched uranium stockpiles well beyond 300kg to build a nuclear weapon.
Iran news: Donald Trump pulled the US out of the Iran nuclear deal in May 2018 (Image: GETTY )
It would also have to enrich to a much higher extent than it has done so far.
Trump took America out of the Iran nuclear deal last year claiming Tehran was violating its spirit by continuing to develop ballistic missiles and backing terror groups across the Middle East.
He commented: “It is clear to me that we cannot prevent an Iranian nuclear bomb under the decaying and rotten structure of this deal.
“The Iran deal is defective to its core.”
Iran has denied responsibility for a series of attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman (Image: GETTY )
Iran feels it’s under attack from US claims Lazare
However the UK, EU, France, Germany, Russia and China, who had also signed up to the deal, continued to support it.
Iran has consistently denied any involvement in the incidents.
President Trump also considered a military response after an unmanned US drone was shot down by Iranian forces.
He later claimed he’d cancelled the attack after being told it would result in 150 Iranian deaths.