Washington: In response to the development that Iran has exceeded the limit on enriched uranium reserves set under 2015 nuclear deal, the White House on Monday released a statement saying that the United States and its allies would never allow Tehran to develop nuclear weapons.
“The Iranian regime took action today to increase its uranium enrichment,” a statement by the Office of the Press Secretary read. “It was a mistake under the Iran nuclear deal to allow Iran to enrich uranium at any level. There is little doubt that even before the deal’s existence, Iran was violating its terms.”
“We must restore the longstanding nonproliferation standard of no enrichment for Iran. The United States and its allies will never allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons,” it added.
The statement further made clear that Washington would continue to impose maximum pressure on the Iranian regime until it “ends its nuclear ambitions and malign behaviour.”
“Maximum pressure on the Iranian regime will continue until its leaders alter their course of action. The regime must end its nuclear ambitions and its malign behaviour,” the statement reads.
Citing an “informed source,” Iran’s Fars news agency on Monday had reported that Iran has exceeded the amount of enriched uranium that it was allowed to have under a 2015 nuclear deal (officially called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA]).
The country stopped complying with some elements of the agreement in May, a year after the US unilaterally withdrew from the deal.
The agreement was signed with an aim to limit Iran’s civilian energy programme, thereby preventing it from developing nuclear weapons at some point in the future, in exchange for relief from sanctions that were crippling the country’s economy.
The deal was hailed as a major diplomatic victory by the Obama administration. However, last year, Donald Trump-led US government had withdrawn from the deal, terming it as “defective at its core”.
Washington’s decision of pulling out from the agreement soured its ties with Iran. In the past year, the Trump administration has slapped a multitude of sanctions on Tehran citing the latter’s support to state-sponsored terrorism and conflicts.