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Iran ‘likely’ to resume uranium enrichment if US withdraws from nuclear deal

Iran's Nuclear Facility [file photo]
Iran's Arak Nuclear Facility [file photo]

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has warned that Tehran will “vigorously” resume uranium enrichment if the United States withdrew from the nuclear deal signed in 2015.

Speaking to reporters in New York, Zarif said Iran does not seek to acquire a nuclear bomb but Tehran will “likely” respond to Washington’s withdrawal from the deal by producing enriched uranium; a key element in making an atomic bomb.

The Iranian minister who is in New York to attend a UN meeting on sustainable peace said European leaders should press US President Donald Trump to keep the agreement if the US wants to maintain credibility among the international community.

“It is important for Iran to reap the benefits of the agreement, therefore it is unthinkable that Iran will unilaterally apply the agreement,” he said.

Read: Iran warns of ‘unpleasant’ response if US drops nuclear deal

Trump set 12 May as the deadline for European leaders to “fix” the 2015 agreement which curbs Iran’s nuclear programme in exchange for removing economic sanctions imposed on Tehran.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said that the US will “regret” its decision if it decides to pull out of the deal, saying Tehran would respond in “less than a week” if that happened.

French President Emmanuel Macron will discuss the nuclear deal during his visit to Washington today followed by German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, on Friday.

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