IRAN announced today it intends to smash the strict uranium stockpile limits set under the nuclear deal it struck with the world’s leading powers. The hardline country’s shock statement is another blow to a pact already crumbling since the US’s high-profile withdrawal. President Rouhani said his country would stop observing restrictions on its stocks of enriched uranium “Today the countdown to pass the 300 kilograms reserve of enriched uranium has started and in 10 days time we will pass this limit,” said Iran’s atomic energy organisation spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi. “This is based on the Articles 26 and 36 of the (nuclear deal), and will be reversed once other parties live up to their commitments.” Kamalvandi acknowledged the country has already QUADRUPLED its production of low-enriched uranium. The news is bound to ramp up tensions between Iran and the West already at breaking point following the shock bomb attack on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman. Many international observers believe the attack was an act of “revenge” by Iran after the White House imposed crippling economic sanctions after Donald Trump pulled out of the nuclear deal. Just last month, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced his country would stop observing restrictions on its stocks of enriched uranium and heavy water agreed under the 2015 deal. Enriched uranium is essential for developing nuclear weapons and power stations. As part of the agreement Iran also agreed to only enrich their uranium up to 3.67 per cent over the next 15 years. In addition they were barred from building any more heavy-water faculties – a type of nuclear reactor which uses heavy water (deuterium oxide) as a coolant to maintain temperatures in the reactor.Also under the agreement the International Atomic Energy Agency was granted regular access to all Iranian nuclear facilities to ensure Iran maintains the deal. The deal said that if Iran abides by it the nation would receive relief from the US, European Union, and the United Nations Security Council on all nuclear-related economic sanctions. The agreement was reached on July 14 2015 and the world powers signed it in Vienna. Iran, China, France, Russia, UK, USA, Germany and the EU all signed up to the deal.. Under the agreement, Iran pledged to reduce its nuclear capacities and allow inspectors inside the country to monitor its activities in return for relief from international sanctions. The deal set a limit on the number of uranium-enriching centrifuges, and restricted its right to enrich uranium to no higher than 3.67 per cent -well below weapons-grade levels of around 90 per On Sunday Mike Pompeo revealed America is now “considering a full range of options” including using its mighty military amid the rising tensions. The US Secretary of State spoke out after he accused the hardline state of launching the tanker attacks.
“The United States is considering a full range of options. We have briefed the President a couple of times, we’ll continue to keep him updated,” he said. “We are confident that we can take a set of actions that can restore deterrence which is our mission set,” Pompeo said in an interview on CBS’s Face The Nation. When questioned if a military response was one of the options, Pompeo responded: “Of course.”