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Trump issues fresh warning to Iran against uranium enrichment

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump warned Iran against breaching the maximum uranium enrichment limit under the landmark 2015 deal.

Trump in the fresh warning to Tehran said that nuclear threats could “come back to bite”.

“Iran has just issued a New Warning. Rouhani says that they will Enrich Uranium to ‘any amount we want’ if there is no new Nuclear Deal,” Trump tweeted, referring to Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani.

“Be careful with the threats, Iran. They can come back to bite you like nobody has been bitten before!”

Iran is acting on its May 8 threat to suspend parts of the agreement in response to Trump’s reimposition of crippling sanctions after withdrawing from it in May last year.

Rouhani said Wednesday’s decision to exceed the enrichment limit was in response to failure by other parties to the deal to keep up their promises and provide Iran relief from sanctions by the United States.

The Iranian leader said as required by the 2015 accord Tehran removed the core of the reactor and filled it with cement in January 2016.

“[But] from July 7 onward with the Arak reactor, if you don’t operate [according to] the programme and timeframe of all the commitments you’ve given us, we will return the Arak reactor to its previous condition,” Rouhani warned signatories on Wednesday.

“Meaning the condition that you say is dangerous and can produce plutonium,” he said, referring to a key component of a nuclear weapon.

“We will return to that unless you take action regarding all your commitments regarding Arak.”

Rouhani kept the door open to negotiations, however, saying Iran would again reduce its stockpile of enriched uranium below the 300kg limit set by the nuclear pact if signatories Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China honoured their pledges.

The enrichment maximum set in the agreement is sufficient for power generation but far below the more than 90 percent level required for a nuclear weapon.