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Iran will no longer honor its commitment to limit its enrichment of uranium, stepping away from a key component of the landmark nuclear deal it agreed to with six nations, including the United States, in 2015.
The announcement was reported Sunday in Iranian state media. It marks the latest in the country’s retreat from the limitations agreed to in the agreement, known as the JCPOA.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran, in the fifth step in reducing its commitments, discards the last key component of its operational limitations in the JCPOA, which is the ‘limit on the number of centrifuges,’ ” the statement said, according to Iran’s Mehr News Agency.
“As such, the Islamic Republic of Iran’s nuclear program no longer faces any operational restrictions, including enrichment capacity, percentage of enrichment, amount of enriched material, and research and development. From here on, Iran’s nuclear program will be developed solely based on its technical needs,” the statement said.
Iran says it will continue to cooperate with international atomic monitors.
The nuclear deal was negotiated by the Obama administration and was signed by the U.S., China, France, Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom. But it has been falling apart since President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the agreement in May 2018 and imposed severe economic sanctions on Iran as part of a campaign of “maximum pressure.”
Iran has been suspending its compliance with one commitment from the deal every 60 days for months. The latest announcement follows the U.S. drone strike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad on Friday.
Earlier, Iran Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi told outlets including The Associated Press that Soleimani’s death would be a factor in Iran moving further from the nuclear deal.
“In the world of politics, all developments are interconnected,” he said.
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