Iran announces nuclear enrichment breach

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Iran has announced it will break a limit set on uranium enrichment, in breach of the landmark 2015 deal designed to curb its nuclear ambitions.

Deputy foreign minister Abbas Araqchi said Iran still wanted to salvage the deal but blamed European countries for failing to live up to their own commitments.

Speaking at a press conference on Sunday at the end of that deadline, Araqchi said Iran would start enriching uranium above a concentration of 3.67% within a few hours.

The US unilaterally withdrew from the agreement in 2018 and has since reimposed tight sanctions affecting the Iranian economy.

The Iranian announcement marks the latest breach of the accord.

In May, Iran announced it would step up its production of enriched uranium, which can be used to make fuel for reactors but also for nuclear weapons.

The country has already stockpiled more enriched uranium than permitted under the terms of the deal though it has strongly denied that it has any intention of building nuclear weapons.