TEHRAN: Iran says the last chance for saving its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers will pass after a 60-day deadline.
Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi told reporters Monday that Iran won’t offer any further “deadlines” to save the deal by September.
The previous day, Iranian officials said the country would take further steps toward the “reduction” of its compliance with the accord after the deadline.
Iran has already breached the deal’s limits on uranium enrichment and stockpiling.
Mousavi said Iran is still open to negotiations with its European partners and expressed the hope they would “take steps forward” toward implementing their commitments.
Iran is pressuring European partners to find a way around US sanctions and deliver the deal’s promised economic relief. The US unilaterally withdrew a year ago.
Meanwhile, Iran has passed the 3.67% uranium enrichment cap set by its landmark 2015 nuclear deal and may enrich at even higher levels, the spokesman for Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Behrouz Kamalvandi, said on Monday according to the IRIB news agency.
Iran said on Sunday it would shortly boost uranium enrichment above the cap, prompting a warning from US President Donald Trump, who wants the pact renegotiated, that Tehran “better be careful.”
“Twenty percent is not needed now, but if we want we will produce it. When we’ve put aside 3.67% enrichment we have no obstacle or problem with this action,” Kamalvandi was quoted as saying, noting that options for enriching at higher levels had been discussed with the Supreme National Security Council.
“There is the 20% option and there are options even higher than that but each in its own place. Today if our country’s needs are one thing, we won’t pursue something else just to scare the other side a little more.
“But they know it’s an upward trend,” he said.
Increasing the number of centrifuges is an option for Iran’s third step in reducing its commitments to the nuclear deal, Kamalvandi said, noting that restarting IR-2 and IR-2 M centrifuges is an option.