Iran to break uranium stockpile limit set by nuclear deal in 10 days

Tehran has sped up the countdown to its breaching the nuclear deal, announcing it will break the uranium stockpile limit set in the deal in the next 10 days.

The country’s atomic agency also said Tehran could from 7 July start the process of enriching uranium up to 20%, closer to weapons-grade levels.

The announcement by Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman for the Iranian Atomic Energy Authority, puts more pressure on Europe to come up with new terms for Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal.

The EU last week agreed an unpublished timetable of its own with Iran to help ease trade between Tehran and European nations, but it is not clear whether the measures will come quickly enough or be sufficient to persuade Iran to rethink its strategy of chipping away at the deal.

Iran says it is acting after Donald Trump unilaterally pulled out of the deal a year ago and Europe then proved itself incapable of protecting its private-sector firms from the threat of US secondary sanctions if they tried to trade with Iran. US sanctions have brought down Iran oil exports to 400,000 barrels a day, well below the levels needed to fund government spending.