Iran threatens to ramp up enrichment beyond pre-nuke deal pace

The Times of Israel reports: “An Iranian official threatened Wednesday to greatly accelerate the pace of the country’s uranium enrichment beyond the levels seen ahead of the 2015 nuclear deal if the United States decides to back out of the landmark pact and reimpose punishing sanctions on Tehran.

‘Iran is ready to increase the speed of its nuclear activities in various areas, especially enrichment, several times more than pre-JCPOA era,’ said Behrouz Kamalvandi, a spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran in an interview with state television, using the technical acronym for the nuclear deal.

The comments came as a decision loomed for US President Donald Trump on whether to once against waive sanctions or put them back in place, effectively spelling the end for the nuclear deal, which lifted the financial penalties in exchange for Iran rolling back its enrichment program. Trump is expected to announce his decision Friday.

‘If the sanctions suspension are not extended, that would violate the nuclear deal and the Islamic Republic of Iran will take first retaliatory action immediately,’ Kamalvandi added…”

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