Iran nuclear fears erupt as US issues bleak warning – New operation started

Richard Ratcliffe: UK needs to be 'braver' about challenging Iran

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This would be in breach of Iran’s deal with six world powers – China, France, Germany, Russia, the US and the UK, signed in 2015.

Iran agreed to limit its sensitive nuclear activities and allow in international inspectors in return for the lifting of crippling economic sanctions.

Under the deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Pkan of Action (JPCOA), Iran was only permitted to enrich uranium up to 3.67% purity.

The deal also saw Iran agree to operate no more than 5,060 of its oldest and least efficient IR-1 centrifuges and to cease enrichment at the underground Fordo facility.

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The country also agreed to hold no more than 300kg (660lbs) of low-enriched uranium.

Highly enriched uranium, which has a purity of 20% or more, is typically used in research reactors.

Under the deal, Iran capped its nuclear activities in return for a lifting of sanctions.

Donald Trump reimposed US sanctions in November 2018, and since July 2019 Iran has increasingly breached the pact’s restrictions.

In addition to operating advanced IR-6 centrifuges at its Fordo facility and enriching uranium up to 20% purity, the country has also started to produce smaller quantities of 60%-enriched uranium.

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