The semi-official Fars news agency in Iran just cited an unnamed source reporting that “U.N. inspectors had recently weighed Iran’s stockpile of low-enriched uranium. According to the report, Iran’s stockpile…was greater than the 660-pound limit set by the nuclear deal.” The nuclear deal, which the Trump administration withdrew the U.S. from in 2015 in which a 660lb cap of enriched uranium, used to make reactor fuel but also potentially nuclear bombs was put in place.
According to the BBC, “Iran stepped up production of enriched uranium…in May. It said it was responding to sanctions reinstated by the US after President Donald Trump abandoned the deal.” Is it naïve to believe Iran or are they just making excuses to bully the world into easing up on sanctions?
The White House responded in a written statement yesterday which said: “the development should have been foreseeable to the Obama administration ‘even before the deal’s existence.” The statement went on to say they vowed to exert “maximum pressure” on Iran to make sure they never obtain nuclear weapons.
Iran has threatened to raise its enrichment to close in on weapons-grade levels starting next week, specifically, July 7thif “Europe fails to offer it a new deal that provides economic relief.”
The White House warns against succumbing to Iran’s rhetoric in the released statement because “there is little doubt that even before the deal’s existence, Iran was violating its terms.”
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the country’s decision to exceed stockpile limits is “reversible” but added “Today, Iran has to stand against U.S. economic sanctions through domestic production and relying on national potentials” Zarif told state-run media. Trump’s response? He isn’t buying it: “They know what they’re doing. They know what they’re playing with. And I think they’re playing with fire.”