President Trump responded to news that Iran has begun enriching uranium beyond the levels set forth in the 2015 nuclear deal in a tweet warning of further sanctions against the country.
“Iran has long been secretly ‘enriching,’ in total violation of the terrible 150 Billion Dollar deal made by John Kerry and the Obama Administration. Remember, that deal was to expire in a short number of years. Sanctions will soon be increased, substantially!” Trump said. Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman for Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, said this week that Iran had passed 4.5% enrichment over the weekend. The nuclear deal capped the allowed concentration of uranium-235 at a 3.67% threshold. Kamalvandi also threatened to restart a dismantled centrifuge or enrich uranium to 20% or more. Around 90% enrichment is standard for nuclear weapons.
Trump warned Iran last week about breaching the limit, saying that threats to increase the concentration of fissile material would come back to bite the country like “nobody has been bitten before.”
The United States recently announced sanctions against Iran’s supreme leader and top officials and in a Tuesday statement said that it would begin sanctioning Iranian-linked Hezbollah officials in Lebanon. Last month, the U.S. planned airstrikes against Iranian facilities in response to the downing of a U.S. drone, but Trump called off the attack with minutes to spare.