Iran Gives Notice Of Uranium-Enrichment Intentions

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"What we are doing does not violate the (2015 nuclear) agreement", he said, adding that a letter was submitted to the IAEA "yesterday regarding the start of certain activities".

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"If conditions allow, maybe tomorrow night at [the Natanz enrichment plant], we can announce the opening of the center for production of new centrifuges", Salehi said, quoted by the semiofficial Fars news agency.

Paris: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday that Israel was not surprised by Iran's declared intention to increase uranium enrichment capacity and reaffirmed a vow to prevent it from obtaining nuclear weapons.

With partners in Berlin, Paris and London still reeling from President Donald Trump's decision last month to exit the hard-fought 2015 accord, Netanyahu is expected to seek European cooperation on a still-to-be-determined Plan B.

The other signatories to the accord - Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany - said they remain committed to the deal.

"I will discuss with them ways to block Iran's nuclear aspirations and Iran's expansion in the Middle East", Netanyahu said last week of his European meetings, noting the issues were "crucial to Israel's security".

A senior diplomat in Vienna, where the IAEA is based, said the call for timely cooperation did not mean that Iran had breached any of the rules of the accord but that the agency was "encouraging (Iran) to go above and beyond the requirements" of the deal.

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With the United States pulling out of the deal entirely, several large firms have said it will be impossible to continue operating in Iran except in the unlikely scenario that they win bulletproof exemptions from Washington. The decision threw a cloud of uncertainty over the future of the nuclear accord and raised tensions with USA allies in Europe.

Options being considered by the EU to keep Tehran in the nuclear deal include new credit lines for Tehran, increased energy cooperation and implementing EU laws to block European companies from caving in to US sanctions. In European capitals, the Trump administration's withdrawal was viewed as a slap in the face of allies.

Before the deal was reached, Tehran enriched uranium to up to 20% purity.

The three European powers are scrambling to save the deal - under which Iran curbed its nuclear programme in return for a lifting of worldwide sanctions - as they regard it as the best chance to stop Tehran developing an atomic bomb.

This is while Iran is now in talks with the other signatories on the future of the deal.

During a trip to France on Tuesday, Netanyahu warned that Tehran will soon use its uranium enrichment program to destroy Israel.

The Iran nuclear deal was President Barack Obama's signature foreign policy achievement.

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