Iran says it will unveil measures reducing commitment to nuclear pact on Monday

Amid mounting Gulf tensions, Tehran set to announce resumption of ‘limitless’ uranium enrichment at shuttered Arak heavy water reactor

Iran's Arak heavy water reactor (photo credit: Hamid Foroutan/ISNA/AFP)
Iran's Arak heavy water reactor (photo credit: Hamid Foroutan/ISNA/AFP)

Tehran said it would take further action Monday to renounce its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal signed with world powers.

“Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization tomorrow at the Arak heavy water site will announce preparatory steps that have been taken to further decrease Tehran’s commitments under the deal,” Iran’s Tasnim news agency reported Sunday, according to a translation by the Reuters news agency.

The organization will also announce “very important information” regarding the “limitless increase of Iran’s enriched uranium stockpile,” according to the Mehr news agency.

The move is part of Iran’s recent 60-day ultimatum to the European Union for renegotiating the 2015 pact after the US withdrew from it and reimposed crippling sanctions on the Islamic Republic

During the press briefing, officials will lay out recent steps to redesign the Arak reactor and increase its production of heavy water, the report said.

Last month, Iran formally dropped the limitations on uranium enrichment and the production of heavy water that were laid down in the nuclear deal, citing its ultimatum to the EU, which it accuses of failing to protect Iran against the renewed US sanctions.

US President Donald Trump, left, on July 22, 2018, and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on February 6, 2018. (AP Photo)

Under the terms of the nuclear deal, Iran can keep a stockpile of no more than 300 kilograms (660 pounds) of low-enriched uranium. That’s compared to the 10,000 kilograms (22,046 pounds) of higher-enriched uranium it once had. It is also capped at storing 300 tons of heavy water, which it sells to Oman for use as a coolant in nuclear reactors.

The moves comes amid heightened tensions in the Middle East after two tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday, in an incident the US, the UK, Saudi Arabia and others have blamed on Iran while Tehran has hinted the US is responsible.

That incident came after four other oil tankers off Fujairah suffered similar attacks in recent weeks, and Iranian-allied rebels from Yemen have struck US ally Saudi Arabia with drones and missiles.

The Trump administration pulled America out of the deal in May 2018, saying it does nothing to stop Iran from developing missiles or destabilizing the Middle East. The Europeans insist that the pact is an important pillar of regional and global security and was never meant to address those other issues.

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