Iran should still comply with nuke deal Trump derided

Iran's Arak heavy water reactor

Iran's Arak heavy water reactor

Rouhani said the move was in retaliation for the unilateral USA withdrawal from the accord a year earlier, which saw Washington impose tough economic sanctions on Tehran.

Kamalvandi added that European countries needed to "act not talk" by stepping in for Iran in order to protect the country from USA sanctions.

Trump has reimposed sanctions against Tehran that had been eased under the nuclear deal, and has especially targeted Iran's banking and all-important energy sector.

"Iran's Atomic Energy Organization tomorrow at the Arak heavy water site will announce preparatory steps that have been taken to further decrease Tehran's commitments under the deal", Iran's Tasnim news agency reported Sunday, according to a translation by Reuters news agency.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said earlier in May his country will disregard the nuclear deal in 60 days if Iran does not receive sanctions relief.

The accord limits Iran's stock of low-enriched uranium at 300 kilograms of uranium hexafluoride enriched to 3.67 percent, or its equivalent, for 15 years.

Iran's needs 5% enrichment for its nuclear power plant in the southern Iranian port of Bushehr and it also needs 20% enrichment for a Tehran research reactor, the spokesman said.

Amid heightening tensions in the region, Iran has said it will break the terms of the deal it signed at the United Nations in 2015 and exceed its agreed limits of enriched uranium within the next 10 days.

Tensions are now high between the USA and Iran after unexplained attacks on two oil tankers off the Iranian coast on Thursday.

Iran has accused its main regional rival Saudi Arabia of adopting a "militaristic, crisis-based approach" after Riyadh said Tehran was behind last week's attack on two tankers near the Strait of Hormuz.

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"The current situation is very critical and France and the other parties to the (deal) still have a very limited opportunity to play their historic role for saving the deal", Rouhani said in a statement on his website.

Iran maintains that its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes.

That helps explain the spate of mysterious tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman lately, as well as the news last week that Iran has increased production of low-enriched uranium.

Kamalvandi spoke to local journalists at Iran's Arak heavy water facility. "Weapons-grade" uranium is 90 percent enriched or more.

He added that his country needs uranium enriched to 5% for its Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant, built in the 1990s with Russian help and uranium of 20% purity to be used as fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor (TRR), which the the US supplied to Iran in 1967.

The US has said Iran is responsible for the attacks, and continued its criticism over the weekend.

"We have already said in the past that we will not accept less for less". The U.S. rushed an aircraft carrier strike group and other military assets to the Middle East in response to what it said were threats from Iran.

The Western European signatories to the nuclear pact - France, Britain, and Germany - have warned Iran not to violate the deal.

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said it was not a time to jump to action without proper information.

In a meeting with Secretary General of the European External Action Service (EEAS) Helga Schmid on Saturday, Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi reminded the EU parties that the two-month deadline will by no means be extended.

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