Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei yesterday called to start uranium enrichment as of "today".
A video on Khamenei's Arabic-language Twitter account saw him saying: "The day when oil runs out, nuclear energy that is produced more cleanly and at lower cost will become commonplace."
"Enrichment cannot start at that time … We have to start from today, and we have to start now in order to be ready and have this ability."
"The arrogant Westerners want Iran to need them when it needs nuclear energy so that they can impose their conditions and blackmail it," he continued.
The Iranian leader made the remarks after Tehran rejected a European proposal to hold an informal meeting with the United States and the European signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal in a bid to salvage it.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Iranian Parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, Abul Fadl Amami, quoted the head of Iran's Nuclear Energy Organisation, Ali Akbar Salehi, as saying that Tehran has begun installing new-generation centrifuges at the Fordow nuclear facility.