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June 18, 2019 10:20 am

Netanyahu Urges Nations to Renew Sanctions If Iran Ups Nuclear Enrichment

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at a Jerusalem ceremony in memory of Israeli presidents and prime ministers who have passed away, June 17, 2019. Photo: Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90. – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on world powers to renew sanctions on Iran should it follow through with its plans to exceed its enriched uranium limit set by the 2015 nuclear deal.

“In the event it acts upon its threats and violates the nuclear deal, the international community must immediately impose the sanctions that were set previously. Israel will not allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon,” Netanyahu said at a ceremony at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem.

On Monday, a spokesman for Iran’s nuclear agency, Behrouz Kamalvandi, said that the Islamic Republic would break its uranium-stockpile limit set by the nuclear deal in the next 10 days unless European powers are able to save the agreement, which the United States pulled out of in May 2018.

“We have quadrupled the rate of enrichment and even increased it more recently, so that in 10 days it will bypass the 300-kilogram [660-pound] limit,” Kamalvandi said on state TV. “There is still time … if European countries act.”

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According to Kamalvandi, Iran would increase its uranium enrichment levels “based on the country’s needs.”

This increase could be to any level past the 3.67 percent set by the nuclear deal. Iran needs 5 percent enrichment for its nuclear power plant in Bushehr, as well as 20 percent for a research reactor near Tehran, said Kamalvandi.

The latest development comes in the wake of attacks on oil tankers last week in the Gulf of Oman. The United States has blamed Iran for the attack.

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