Iran Will 'Never Be Allowed to Enrich Uranium at Any Level' - Pompeo

Iranians use ATM machines of Bank Melli Iran in downtown Tehran Iran

Iranians use ATM machines of Bank Melli Iran in downtown Tehran Iran

The UN's atomic watchdog also confirmed the breach in a report.

Iran has surpassed the limit of enriched uranium it's allowed to stockpile under the 2015 nuclear deal, which is still in effect with a handful of countries. After talks in Vienna last week, Iranian officials said they were unable to persuade the Europeans to provide much in terms of trade assistance. The decision came a year after US President Donald Trump announced that he was withdrawing the United States from the historic nuclear agreement and reimposing wide-ranging sanctions on Iran.

The unravelling of the landmark nuclear agreement comes amid heightened tensions in the Persian Gulf, where Iranian forces shot down a USA drone last month. Iran long has insisted its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, despite Western fears about it.

Iran made that announcement after the Trump administration canceled US waivers that had allowed some countries to buy Iranian oil.

Iran threatened to exceed the maximum allowed amount of uranium if the remaining signatories - Britain, China, France, Germany, and Russian Federation - fail to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal.

The UN assessment is partly based on the view of the worldwide energy agency, which regularly monitors Iran's uranium stockpiles of low-enriched uranium and other aspects of the deal. He told Sky News that Britain still supported the deal. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said the breach was "reversible".

"(This) of course is a cause for regret but one must not dramatize the situation", Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said in comments reported by news agencies.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demanded urged European countries impose sanctions on his country's arch-foe Iran.

Washington ramped up the sanctions on Iran in May by extending the trade restrictions on Iranian oil to all nations. So I'm telling you: do it. "INSTEX is just the beginning of (their) commitments, which has not been fully implemented yet", he added.

The IAEA verified last week that Iran had roughly 200 kilograms of low-enriched uranium, slightly below the 202.8-kilogram limit draw in the deal.

Iran's move was the first major step in violation of the deal since the United States pulled out of it more than a year ago and reimposed tough economic sanctions on Iran.

The chairman of the Iranian parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy commission said on Monday that Israel would be destroyed in half an hour if the United States attacks Iran, according to the semi-official Mehr news agency.

Enriching uranium to a low level of 3.6% fissile material is the first step in a process that could eventually allow Iran to amass enough highly enriched uranium to build a nuclear warhead. That is because going from uranium's natural state of 0.7 percent concentration of U-235 to 20 percent takes approximately 90 percent of the total effort required to get to weapons-grade.

Though Trump pulled back from airstrikes targeting Iran after the USA drone was shot down, Washington has rushed an aircraft carrier strike group, nuclear-capable B-52 bombers and thousands of additional troops to the region.

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