The Times of Israel is liveblogging Monday’s developments as they unfold.
The spokesman for Iran’s nuclear agency, Behrouz Kamalvandi, made the announcement during a press conference with local journalists at Iran’s Arak heavy water facility that was carried live on Iranian state television.
“Today the countdown to pass the 300 kilograms reserve of enriched uranium has started and in 10 days time we will pass this limit,” he said, putting the date for the breach of a key provision of the agreement at June 27.
The development comes in the wake of suspected attacks on oil tankers last week in the region, attacks that the US, the UK and Saudi Arabia have blamed on Iran and which Iran has suggested were carried out by the US. It also follows four other oil tanker attacks off Fujairah in recent weeks. Iranian-allied rebels from Yemen have also struck US ally Saudi Arabia with drones and missiles.
Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI) spokesman, Behrouz Kamalvandi, said on Monday Iran would reach the allowed 300kg level of enriched uranium at levels mandated by the 2015 deal on June 27 and added: “We will go further from that ceiling, not only that, but we will also increase production drastically.” Boosting enrichment from 3.75 pc up to 5 pc for the use in the Bushehr power plant, or 20 percent for a research reactor in Tehran would bring the fuel closer to weapons grade. On May 8, a year after the US quit the 2015 accord, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani gave the UK, France, Germany, China and Russia had 60 days to implement their promises to protect Iran’s oil and banking sectors from re-imposed US sanctions.