Iran plans to lift its uranium enrichment capacity

Iran has informed the UN of its plans to lift uranium enrichment within the limits of the 2015 nuclear deal signed with six world powers.

The country on Tuesday announced work on advanced centrifuges at its Natanz facility (pictured).

The move comes amid uncertainty about the deal after the US pulled out of it on May 8.

Iran claims it has the option of resuming industrial-scale enrichment following the US exit from the deal.

Responding to the step, Israel’s Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz said a US-led coalition would attack Iran if it pursues a nuclear weapons programme.

Israel claims it had evidence that Tehran had never given up its plans to develop nuclear arms.

Its defence minister, Avigdor Lieberman, said Tehran’s latest move is “a sign of mass hysteria and panic in the Iranian leadership.”

Soon after Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman for the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization, briefed on the letter submitted to IAEA detailing its uranium enrichment plan, Ali Akbar Salehi, director of Iran’s atomic programme and a vice president, confirmed that Tehran has started work on advanced centrifuges at its Natanz facility.

However, the nuclear activities would remain within the framework of the 2015 deal, he said.

Iran’s ambassador to the EU Peiman Seadat said Europe must not allow Trump to leave the nuclear deal in tatters.

Writing for Euronews, he said “cohesive and timely action” among the remaining parties to the accord was the only way to keep the deal intact. For this, Iran needs assurance of economic gain from the remaining signatories of the deal.