Iran may up its enrichment of uranium to 60 percent, the rogue nation’s supreme leader said this week, ramping up tensions as Tehran attempts to stand its ground with its new negotiators: the Biden administration.
Speaking Monday to members of the Assembly of Experts, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Tehran would not succumb to pressure from the United States on any matter, state television reported.
“We are determined to gain nuclear capabilities proportionate to the country’s needs and for this reason, the limit for Iran’s enrichment won’t be 20 percent,” Khamenei said.
“We will increase it to whatever level the country needs…We may increase it to 60 percent,” he continued.
The Obama administration brokered the 2015 Iran nuclear deal alongside Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and the European Union.
The accord reduced sanctions against Iran in exchange for the country reducing its stockpile of enriched uranium needed to fuel nuclear weapons. It also capped the fissile purity at which Tehran could refine uranium at 3.67 percent.
The Trump administration withdrew from the pact in 2018, with the then-commander-in-chief arguing that “America will not be held hostage to nuclear blackmail.”
Iran began breaching the deal shortly after, as tensions ratcheted up between the US and Tehran.
President Biden has said that he would re-enter the 2015 deal “as a starting point for follow-on negotiations,” adding that he would only support doing so if Iran pledged to follow strict compliance measures.
Following Biden’s election in November, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that his country would fully implement the terms of the Obama-era agreement if Biden lifted the Trump-era sanctions, arguing it could be done with “three executive orders.”
Biden has declined to do so.
With Post wires