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Iran has just breached the 2015 nuclear deal by exceeding the limit for stockpiling enriched uranium, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Monday, confirming Iranian claims that it had violated the nuclear deal.
“We can confirm that IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano has informed the Board of Governors that the Agency verified on 1 July that Iran’s total enriched uranium stockpile exceeded [the deal’s limit],” a spokesman for the IAEA said in a statement on Monday, as carried by Reuters.
Earlier today, Iranian media quoted Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as saying that Iran had exceeded the 300-kilogram limit for its stockpile of 3.67-percent enriched uranium because of Europe’s inaction to guarantee Iranian oil sales despite the U.S. sanctions. Iran will continue to lessen compliance with the nuclear deal if “the Europeans fail to meet the country's demands,” Iran’s Fars news agency quoted Zarif as saying.
“As far as I know, Iran has exceeded the 300kg limit according to the timeline and we had also earlier announced this issue and clearly stated which measures we will adopt as our rights based on the nuclear deal,” Zarif said on Monday.
In May, exactly a year after the United States withdrew from Iran nuclear deal, the Islamic Republic said that it is suspending some of its commitments under the agreement and threatened to resume enriching uranium at a higher level if the remaining signatories to the deal—the EU, Russia, and China—don’t fulfill within 60 days their commitments to Iran, including protecting the Iranian oil trade from U.S. sanctions.
Iran started to announce measures for reduced compliance under the nuclear deal in “counteractions” against the maximum pressure campaign of the United States, which ended all waivers for Iranian oil customers and sent a carrier strike group to the Middle East as a warning to Iran.
Tension in the Middle East between the U.S. and Iran has escalated since early May, after Iran shot down a U.S. drone two weeks ago.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.