Published: Thu, September 05, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Tehran to develop centrifuges in next step to scaling back commitments

Tehran to develop centrifuges in next step to scaling back commitments

His statement came as Iranian officials gave mixed signals in response to a French proposal to save the agreement by offering Iran about $15 billion in credit lines until year-end if Tehran comes fully back into compliance.

The deal gave Iran access to world trade, including the sale of oil, in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.

Macron, meeting Trump last month in France, encouraged him to offer economic incentives for Tehran and dangled the possibility of a summit between the U.S. and Iranian presidents.

After the United States started to impose crippling sanctions targeting Iran's lucrative oil industry and the financial sector, Tehran began exceeding some of the limits on nuclear material and threatened to further breach them on September 5 if the Western European signatories of the deal - France, Germany, and Britain - do not offer economic relief.

"I don't think the European countries will be able to take an effective step before Friday", he said.

President Hassan Rouhani, whose government has been scrambling to salvage the accord after the United States abandoned it last May, said the new measures will be "extremely important".

The Trump administration says the nuclear deal is deficient as many of its terms expire after a decade and it does not cover non-nuclear issues such as Iran's ballistic missile programme and its support of proxy forces around the Middle East.

A short time after Rouhani's statement, U.S. officials announced new sanctions on Iran, this time targeting a shipping network it said was run by Iran's Revolutionary Guard to smuggle oil.

But that proposal will need the approval of the United States.

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Tensions rose significantly in July since Iran took the first two steps away from the nuclear deal and seized a British-flagged tanker - the Stena Impero - in the Strait of Hormuz for "failing to respect worldwide maritime rules".

A European diplomatic source confirmed the $15 billion figure.

While the USA maximum pressure on Iran is gradually fueling the energy prices, the news indicates no respite to the Arab nation even if it is in negotiation with France for a multi-billion Dollars line of credit.

Back in July, Iran declared the second step to reduce its commitments by ramping up the level of uranium enrichment to over 3.67 percent.

His announcement got here shortly after the United States hit the Islamic Republic with additional sanctions, the newest in a collection of punitive measures together with an embargo on Iranian oil exports.

The Iranian vessel - the Adrian Darya 1, formerly known as the Grace 1 - was released earlier this month and set sail for eastern Mediterranean.

"Returning to full implementation of the JCPOA is subject to receiving $15 billion over a period of four months, otherwise the process of Iran reducing its commitments will continue", stated Araghchi, quoted by the state information company IRNA.

"We could solve it in 24 hours", he added.

The situation between the USA and Iran has failed to improve recently following a brief period where conflict looked close to breaking out.

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