Moscow: Tehran's Roll-Back on Nuke Deal Provoked by External Pressure on Iran

Posted May 09, 2019

Washington has also blacklisted Iran's Revolutionary Guards force as a terrorist organization and Iran responded with threats to close the Gulf's strait of Hormuz if its ships were blocked there.

The United Nations' nuclear watchdog says Iran has continued to comply with the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal, which saw it limit its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.

Reports of Iran's upcoming announcement come specifically in response to the US State Department's decision on May 3 that it would revoke waivers for Iran that would allow it to ship its heavy water overseas for storage and swap its enriched uranium for natural uranium.

Iran has set a 60-day deadline for world powers to renegotiate the terms of its 2015 nuclear deal, a year to the day after President Donald Trump pulled America from the landmark accord.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will deliver a major speech Wednesday and is expected to lay out "counteractions" against the US - including the "resumption of some nuclear activities" as a direct response to President Trump's decision past year to exit the Iranian nuclear agreement.

All signatories were formally notified about Tehran's decision, with Zarif using his coinciding visit to Moscow to offer personal explanations about why it was taken.

Officials from Iran and the nuclear deal's other remaining parties are scheduled to meet in Brussels on Tuesday.

Washington announced the deployment of an aircraft carrier to the Gulf to counter what it says are Iranian threats.

Axios reports that senior Israeli officials said Israel supplied intelligence to the White House on an alleged Iranian plot to attack U.S. interests in the Persian Gulf.

President Trump has taken a particularly hard line towards Iran since he took office in 2016.

There was no immediate response from the United States.

His administration wants to renegotiate the nuclear deal and widen its scope so that it also curbs Iran's ballistic missile programme and "malign" activities in the Middle East.

In 2018, all the other signatories - Russia, China, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and the European Union - refused to follow the U.S. example and confirmed their commitment to the accord, trying to save the deal with the Islamic Republic. A US official, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters, said American troops at land and sea could be targeted.

The nuclear deal was meant to prevent Tehran from building nuclear weapons in return for sanctions relief. American air bases spanning the region can scramble fighter jets and drones, lessening the necessity of an aircraft carrier as USA officials also worry about China and Russian Federation.

European backers of the deal, who oppose reinstating sanctions, have been trying to find ways to salvage it.

Under terms of the deal, Iran can keep a stockpile of no more than 300kg of low-enriched uranium.

Currently, the accord limits Iran to enriching uranium to 3.67 per cent, which can fuel a commercial nuclear power plant. That's compared to the 10,000 kilograms (22,046 pounds) of higher-enriched uranium it once had. Iran has previously enriched to 20%.