Tehran raises uranium enrichment, Paris intervenes, Washington threatens News -

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The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed on Monday (July 8, 2019) that Iran had begun enriching uranium to a higher degree than those authorized by the Great Powers Agreement in 2015. Its spokesman said that " That Tehran has enriched uranium higher than 3.67%, "without specifying the exact proportion.

Tehran has said it has begun enriching uranium by at least 4.5 percent in response to US sanctions. The IAEA also confirmed on January 1 that Iran had slightly exceeded the authorized level of its stockpile of 300 kg of low enriched uranium.

Today, Iran has renewed its threat that it will restart centrifuges suspended from work and increase the purity of uranium enrichment to 20 percent, as part of its next major steps possible in the framework of reducing commitments to the nuclear agreement, which pulled out of Washington last year.

Iran announced early May that it would gradually free itself from its commitments under the agreement if other signatory parties did not allow it to circumvent US sanctions strangling its economy.

France intervenes

Meanwhile, an official with the French presidency said President Emmanuel McCron's chief adviser would travel to Iran on Tuesday and Wednesday in an effort to stop escalating tension between Tehran and Washington. The French official said the two countries were keen to increase pressure at this stage, but they would want to start talks at the end. "The important thing in a crisis like this is to find middle points that take us from extreme tension to negotiation and that's what we're trying to do."

USA Vizepräsident Mike Pence in Miami (Getty Images / AFP / R. Wise)

Vice President Mike Bens.

Washington will continue to pressure Iran

US Vice President Mike Bens said the United States was ready to talk to Iran about its nuclear program and not seek war, but made clear that the administration of President Donald Trump was ready to protect American and US interests.

"Iran should not misunderstand US restraint as weakness for its resolve," Bens said in prepared statements. "The United States is not seeking a war with Iran, we want dialogue, we are ready to listen, but America will not retreat," he was quoted as saying.

He said Washington would continue to pressure Iran through sanctions, adding that US President Donald Trump "will never allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon."

AH / ZA (AFP)

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