Iran breaches nuclear deal, uses advanced centrifuges

World Today

New signs the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal is continuing to unravel. The country announced it is using advanced centrifuges that were previously banned under the deal. And it said it is lifting limitations on enriching uranium.

CGTN’s Toby Muse reports.

Iran said it uses a number of advanced centrifuges, and it’s now capable of enriching uranium far beyond current levels in violation of an ever-crumbling nuclear deal.

“Our centrifuge machines, while they are being researched and developed, will help accumulate our reserves (of enriched uranium) at the same time,” said Behrouz Kamalvandi of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran.

Iran says it has no interest in building nuclear weapons, something its enemies doubt.

Iran and Europe have been in talks to rescue the 2015 nuclear deal after the U.S. withdrew from the accord last year and imposed sanctions on Iran.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said in a statement that a representative would travel to Tehran “for meetings with high-level Iranian officials on Sunday.”

The French government said it was committed to finding a diplomatic solution to the crisis.

“We can only confirm our goal, which is to bring Iran to fully respect the Vienna deal,” said French Minister Florence Parly. “And we will continue to push towards this, all diplomatic efforts are oriented towards this. The president is personally involved in it, so it must be pursued.”

One possibility would be to extend a line of credit to Iran that would help it weather the U.S. sanctions.

Iran said Saturday that it had seized a ship that it accused of smuggling oil through the Strait of Hormuz. It said the boat was carrying 284,000 liters of diesel. It said that it had detained 12 Filipino crew members.

Meanwhile, new satellite images show an Iranian oil tanker is now docked in Syrian waters. Tehran had assured the world the vessel would not travel to Syria after it was detained near Gibraltar in July on suspicions it was in violation of European Union sanctions.