Iran to exceed uranium enrichment limit from Sunday: Rouhani

Iran will exceed on Sunday (July 7th) the uranium enrichment limit it agreed in a 2015 nuclear deal with major powers, President Hassan Rouhani said.

"On July 7th, our enrichment level will no longer be 3.67%. We will put aside this commitment. We will increase beyond 3.67% to as much as we want, as much as is necessary, as much as we need," Rouhani said during a Wednesday cabinet meeting.

The enrichment maximum set in the agreement is sufficient for power generation but far below the more than 90% level required for a nuclear warhead.

Rouhani said Iran's action would be reversed if the other parties to the deal -- Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia -- offered relief from sanctions.

Iran on May 8th announced it would no longer respect the limits set on the size of its stockpiles of enriched uranium and heavy water, and threatened to abandon further nuclear commitments, including exceeding the agreed uranium enrichment maximum from July 7th.

Rouhani said Iran also will deliver on its threat to resume construction of a heavy water reactor after July 7th.

The diplomatic chiefs of the EU, France, Germany and Britain said Tuesday they were "extremely concerned" about Iran's announcement that its total enriched uranium stockpile had exceeded the agreed-upon limit of 300 kilogrammes.

"We urge Iran to reverse this step and to refrain from further measures that undermine the nuclear deal," said the joint statement signed by EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini and the three countries' foreign ministers -- France's Jean-Yves Le Drian, Germany's Heiko Maas and Britain's Jeremy Hunt.

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