Netanyahu shifts emphasis in Merkel meeting to Iranian aggression

Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani

Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani

Iran announced Tuesday that it has taken steps to increase its capacity for uranium enrichment in a warning of the potential consequences of the USA withdrawal last month from the nuclear deal.

Under the 2015 agreement, Iran is permitted to enrich uranium to 3.67 per cent.

"The words uttered by some European states indicate that they expect the Iranian nation to both agree to comply with the nuclear deal undertakings and live under sanctions", Khamenei added.

Late on Monday, the AEOI said it is starting a process to accelerate the preparation of infrastructure for the manufacturing of centrifuge rotors and boosting the domestic capacity for the production of UF4 and UF6 gases.

The remaining partners - Britain, China, France, Germany and Russian Federation - have scrambled to save the 2015 accord as the United States readies to reimpose sanctions on Tehran.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordered the move in a speech last night vowing to preserve the country's nuclear programme.

Khamenei and various Iranian political figures have already warned that Iran could leave the agreement if it no longer receives the economic benefits it signed up for.

Tehran insists its nuclear program is for civilian use.

Khamenei spoke almost a month after President Donald Trump announced the United States was pulling out of the landmark Iran nuclear deal. Chief among them is the demand Iran that stop its uranium enrichment and never pursue plutonium reprocessing to foreclose any possible path to building a nuclear weapon.

Oil slips as USA crude inventories show signs of increasing
It's tough to stay positive on crude when the world's three oil superpowers are likely to increase production. In Europe, August Brent crude fell 77 cents, or 1%, to $US76.79 a barrel.

The EU is trying to come up with ways to persuade Iran to stick with the deal by protecting the economic benefits it gained when tough sanctions were lifted in return for it halting the weapons-capable aspects of its nuclear program.

Major global companies are already beginning to distance themselves from Iran in fear of USA sanctions.

When the Trump administration withdrew from the accord, it announced that it would resume sanctions and impose new penalties unless Iran dramatically changes its policies on other issues not covered by the deal, including its ballistic missile program and support for regional militant groups.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was not "surprised" with Iran's move and that Israel will not allow Tehran to get nuclear weapons.

In exchange, Iran received relief from sanctions, most of which were rescinded in January 2016.

After eight years with Barack Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu found the U.S. president he wanted in Donald Trump.

The Obama administration, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom signed a deal with Iran in 2015, but the administration of President Donald Trump recently chose to pull the USA out of the agreement.

It significantly raises the pressure on Europe to end the JCPOA nuclear deal with Iran, inasmuch as it proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that the entire agreement was based on a lie, and continues on the same premise.

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