Published: Tue, September 10, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Iran Says Cuts in Commitment Allowed Under Nuclear Deal: Fars

Iran Says Cuts in Commitment Allowed Under Nuclear Deal: Fars

Feruta also held talks on Sunday with Iran's top diplomat Mohammad Javad Zarif and Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, according to state television.

Behrouz Kamalvandi of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran told reporters that not only can Iran enrich uranium "much more beyond" current levels, but it has also been pumping uranium gas into advanced centrifuges, another violation of the 2015 nuclear deal.

Iran said yesterday it has fired up advanced centrifuges to boost its enriched uranium stockpiles, in the latest scaling back of commitments under a crumbling 2015 nuclear deal.

Kamalvandi said Iran would allow the International Atomic Energy Agency to continue monitoring its nuclear programme, as it has done under the 2015 accord.

Meantime, IAEA Acting Director General Cornel Feruta was traveling Saturday to Iran.

German Foreign Ministry spokesman Rainer Breul said Iran was not sending the "right statement" but added, "It's not too late for Iran to leave the slope it has put itself on". The IAEA, which issues compliance reports, meets in Vienna on Monday.

The deal, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, granted Iran sanctions relief and promised economic benefit in exchange for limits on its nuclear program and global inspections.

A Downing Street spokesman said: "Both prime ministers agreed on the need to prevent Iran getting a nuclear weapon and stop wider destabilising Iranian behaviour". Iran maintains its program is peaceful.

Zarif has often said the steps Iran has taken could be undone if France and other European nations agreed to compensate the country for oil sales lost because of US sanctions. By surrendering to Iran's extortion attempts, France is failing to curb the regime's regional and global ambitions and is, in effect, giving it the green light to continue its march toward becoming a destructive nuclear force. Both the USA and Israel have been agitating the IAEA to look further into a warehouse where Israel says its spies seized secret material from Tehran's nuclear program.

Meanwhile Saturday, Iranian state TV said the tugboat and its 12 crewmembers were seized on suspicion of smuggling diesel fuel near the Strait of Hormuz. Frey said the U.S. Navy was aware of the report, but declined to comment further. The French authorities acknowledged that Tehran was behind the planned attack, with a French diplomatic source telling Reuters: "Behind all this was a long, meticulous and detailed investigation by our (intelligence) services that enabled us to reach the conclusion, without any doubt, that responsibility fell on the Iranian intelligence ministry".

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The US has been seeking to seize the tanker since it was released by Gibraltar.

Analysts say 20 percent is just a short technical step away from 90 percent enrichment, which is weapons-grade level.

"Regarding the monitoring and accesses of the IAEA.so that everything is clear (Iran's) commitments regarding transparency will be followed as before", he said.

On July 1, it acknowledged it had elevated its stockpile of enriched uranium to beyond the 300-kilogram maximum yelp by the deal.

The 2015 pact curbed Iran's disputed nuclear programme in exchange for relief from sanctions, but has unravelled since the United States pulled out of the pact a year ago and acted to strangle Iran's oil trade to push it to make wider security concessions. He spoke from a podium as centrifuges stood next to him.

European countries, who had opposed the USA withdrawal, have been in talks to provide credit and help Iran circumvent US sanctions continue trading with non-U.S. businesses, but a senior Iranian diplomat on Wednesday said Europe must offer $15 billion in credit before the two sides can start any fresh nuclear negotiations. The U.S. has tried to make an example of it by preventing it from offloading its oil in exchange for revenue that the U.S. says support Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps, an elite wing of its military the Trump administration designated a terrorist organization.

Fleet spokesman Cmdr. Joshua Frey declined to specifically discuss the warning.

The alert that went out early Saturday did not specify what the threat was.

According to the USA space technology firm Maxar Technologies Inc., the Adrian Darya was photographed near the Port of Tartous after turning off its Global Positioning System earlier in the week.

Last week, the USA seemed to support a French-backed off-ramp to tensions that Macron presented to Trump at the G-7 summit.

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