Israel PM Netanyahu calls Iran's enrichment move a 'very, very dangerous step'

Israel PM Netanyahu calls Iran's enrichment move a 'very, very dangerous step'

However, Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said that Iran would not be making fuel for its Tehran reactor, which requires a concentration of 20 percent.

Tehran's boost in uranium enrichment is allowed by the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran's foreign minister claims, adding that all steps it has taken can be reversed if its European counterparts fulfill their commitments under that deal.

In its report, the IAEA confirmed that Iran had breached the limit of 300kg for stockpiles of enriched uranium as stipulated under the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Iran has been increasing uranium production since May and has enough for nuclear power plants, which could also be used for nuclear bombs.

Last month President Trump said he had made a last-minute decision to call off air strikes in retaliation for the shooting down by Iran of an unmanned United States drone over the Gulf. Weapons-grade uranium is 90 percent enriched or more.

Senior Iranian officials also said Tehran would keep reducing its commitments every 60 days unless signatories of the pact worked to stop USA sanctions.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the Iranian decision to boost enrichment levels "a very, very risky step", the Associated Press reported.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif sent a letter to European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini outlining the steps it had taken, said Abbas Araghchi, a deputy foreign minister.

Hopes for saving the faltering deal appear increasingly dim, as the Europeans have been unable to offer Iran any effective way around US sanctions.

A senior Iranian official said on Friday that Tehran should seize a British oil vessel in case London refuses to release the Iranian oil tanker detained in Gibraltar.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said in a tweet that UK Ambassador Rob Macaire was summoned over the "illegal interception" of the ship.

"The Iranian government is trying to create a crisis that will force a multilateral negotiation without precipitating a war", said Jon Alterman, director of the Middle East Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Trump argues that the deal is too weak because some of its terms are not permanent, and because it does not cover non-nuclear issues such as Iran's ballistic missile programme and regional aspirations.

"This is a very, very risky step", Netanyahu said in public remarks to his cabinet.

Iran wants European leaders to offer a way for Tehran to avoid punishing economic sanctions, especially those targeting its crucial oil sales, that Trump put in place in the year since he pulled the United States out of the pact.

French President Emmanuel Macron told Rouhani of his "strong concern" over the risk of weakening the nuclear agreement and the consequences that would follow during a telephone call Saturday, according to a statement from the Elysee Palace.

Macron also said he had agreed with Rohani to explore between now and July 15 conditions to "enable the resumption of dialogue between all parties" and de-escalate tensions.

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