Iran Could Unleash New Refugee Wave, Netanyahu Tells Merkel

06 June, 2018, 02:00 | Author: Bert Pena
  • Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is interviewed by The Associated Press in New York

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TEHRAN, IRAN-Iran has informed the United Nations nuclear watchdog that it will increase its nuclear enrichment capacity within the limits set by the 2015 agreement with world powers.

The Iranian authorities have said that if the European countries fail to keep the pact alive, Tehran has several options, including enrichment of its uranium to 20% purity.

But he also said Iran will continue adhering to the 2015 nuclear deal and that the country's nuclear activities will remain within the limits set by the accord.

Since then, Khamenei and other Iranian officials have been on the attack, threatening to increase uranium enrichment.

Israel's leader urged France on Tuesday to turn its attention to tackling Iran's "regional aggression", saying he no longer needed to convince Paris to quit world powers' 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran as economic pressure would kill it anyway. Iran has repeatedly denied seeking a nuclear weapon from enrichment.

He said he would initiate new sanctions on Iran, ripping up the touchstone agreement negotiated by his predecessor, Barack Obama.

European countries and China have said they will stand by the existing nuclear accord.

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Israel has proposed that "a military coalition" be formed against Iran in case Tehran pursues "military-grade" uranium enrichment, suggesting that the military force would comprise of the Israeli regime, the USA, the Western states and their Arab allies.

The threat prompted a response from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who reminded the world this is exactly why Iran can never be allowed to obtain a nuclear weapon.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman also slammed Khamenei's declaration that he had ordered preparations to increase uranium enrichment capacity Monday, according Hebrew media.

Netanyahu met with Macron at the Elysee Palace in Paris as part of his European tour, aiming to rally support from allies against Iran.

The Iran deal paved the way for the partial lifting of worldwide sanctions against the country, in exchange for Tehran curbing its nuclear programme for several years.

Major global companies are already beginning to distance themselves from Iran in fear of U.S. sanctions.

The European powers are trying to come up with a package to ring-fence trade with Iran against renewed US financial sanctions to dissuade Tehran from quitting the accord.

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. We commit, and I commit again, that we will not let that happen, ' he said.

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