IRAN has said America “cannot expect to remain safe” – as the UN nuclear watchdog warned that Tehran is accelerating its enrichment of uranium.
The country’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, issued the chilling threat
amid rising tensions with the US over its plans to build nuclear weapons.
6 The Iranian regime, currently headed by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has long been known to have nuclear ambitionsCredit: AFP
6 The U.N.’s nuclear chief said Iran has increased its uranium enrichment recentlyCredit: AP:Associated Press
6 The United States deployed an additional warship to the GulfCredit: AFP
Zarif said: “Reducing tension is only possible through stopping the economic war by America.
“Those who wage such wars cannot expect to remain safe.”
Last year Donald Trump pulled out of an agreement between Iran and other world powers to curb Tehran’s nuclear programme in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions.
Since then, the President has engaged in a war or words with the regime amid intelligence warnings Iran is planning attacks on the US military in the region.
Last month saw the American deployment of an additional missile-defence system and warship to the Gulf.
America has also reimposed a series of trade sanctions on Iran intended to target critical areas of the country’s economy, including its energy, shipping and shipbuilding, and financial sectors.
At a press conference on Monday, Yukiya Amano, chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency, was asked whether Iran’s enriched uranium production had accelerated since the agency’s last quarterly report, which found Iran compliant with the nuclear deal as of May 20.
“Yes, (the) production rate is increasing,” he said, though declined to quantify the increase.
He added that he hoped “that ways can be found to reduce the current tensions through dialogue. It is essential that Iran fully implements its nuclear-related commitments.”
Washington began tightening its current sanctions at the start of May, ordering all countries and companies to halt imports of Iranian oil or face sanctions of their own.
Iran has said that it is now for European countries, who are still honouring the nuclear agreement, to work with Iran to reduce the impact of sanctions on its economy.
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Zarif was speaking at a press conference alongside German foreign minister Heiko Maas, who yesterday became the first Western official to visit Iran since tensions began again to mount last month.
“The situation in the region here is highly explosive and extremely serious. A dangerous escalation of existing tensions can also lead to a military escalation,” said Maas.
6 Iran’s foreign minister said America cannot expect to be safe while sanctions remain in placeCredit: AFP or licensors
6 Iran has historically denied developing nuclear weaponsCredit: AP:Associated Press
6 Last year, President Trump withdrew the US from an agreement limiting Iran’s uranium enrichmentCredit: AFP or licensors
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