Iran's Rohani: We Can Enrich Uranium to 'Any Amount That We Want'

The Iranian president issues warning to pressure European partners in the nuclear accord to offer a way around U.S. sanctions targeting Tehran

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President Hassan Rohani attends a meeting with the Health Ministry officials, in Tehran, Iran, June 25, 2019.
President Hassan Rohani attends a meeting with the Health Ministry officials, in Tehran, Iran, June 25, 2019.Credit: ,AP

Iran will increase its level of uranium enrichment after July 7 to whatever levels it needs beyond the 3.67% cap set in the landmark 2015 nuclear deal, Iran’s President Hassan Rohani said on Wednesday, according to the IRIB news agency.

If the remaining signatories of the nuclear deal with world powers do not fulfill their promises, then the Arak nuclear reactor will return to its previous activities after July 7, Rohani said.

The comments by Rohani come as tensions remain high between Iran and the U.S. over the deal, which President Donald Trump pulled America from over a year ago.

Authorities on Monday acknowledged Iran broke through a limit placed on its stockpile of low-enriched uranium.

>> Read more: Why Trump may end up calling Rohani 'dear friend' after all | Analysis ■ Iran crisis exposes far deeper conflict between Trump and Europe | Opinion

Rohani's comments seemed to signal that Europe has yet to offer Iran anything to alleviate the pain of the renewed U.S. sanctions targeting its oil industry and top officials.

Iran's nuclear deal currently bars it from enriching uranium above 3.67%, which is enough for nuclear power plants but far below the 90% needed for weapon-grade levels. "In any amount that we want, any amount that is required, we will take over 3.67," Rohani said.

Also on Wednesday, relatives of those killed in the 1988 downing of the Iranian passenger jet threw flowers into the Strait of Hormuz in mourning.

Iranian state television aired footage of mourners in the strait, as armed Iranian Revolutionary Guard fast boats patrolled around them. They tossed gladiolas into the strait as some wept.

The July 3, 1988 downing of Iran Air flight 655 by the U.S. Navy remains one of the moments the Iranian government points to in its decades-long distrust of America. The U.S. Navy's mistaken missile fire killed 290 people.

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