Iran began enriching uranium Monday to 4.5 percent, breaking the limit set by its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, semi-official news agencies in the country reported.
Iran’s president warned European partners in its faltering nuclear deal on Wednesday that Tehran will increase its enrichment of uranium to “any amount that we want” beginning on Sunday, putting pressure on them to offer a way around intense U.S. sanctions targeting the country.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in Saudi Arabia on Monday in a hastily arranged visit amid mounting tensions between Washington and Tehran as Iran’s navy chief warned Iranian forces wouldn’t hesitate to shoot down more U.S. surveillance drones from their skies.
President Donald Trump said Saturday he’s still considering military action against Iran after it downed an unmanned U.S. military aircraft, saying the use of force is “always on the table until we get this solved.”
The United States made preparations for a military strike against Iran in retaliation for the downing of a U.S. surveillance drone, but the operation was abruptly called off with just hours to go, a U.S. official said.
President Donald Trump warned Iran early on Monday not to threaten the United States again or it’ll face its “official end,” shortly after a rocket landed near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad overnight.
The first set of U.S. sanctions against Iran that had been eased under the landmark nuclear accord went back into effect early Tuesday under an executive order signed by President Donald Trump, targeting financial transactions that involve U.S. dollars, Iran’s automotive sector, the purchase of commercial planes and metals including gold.
European and American companies could lose billions of dollars in commercial deals canceled and a major new export market undercut by the U.S. decision to re-impose sanctions on Iran.
The Trump administration ordered sanctions against more than two dozen people and companies from the Persian Gulf to China Friday in retaliation for Iran’s recent ballistic missile test, increasing pressure on Tehran without directly undercutting a landmark nuclear deal with the country.
The Trump administration is preparing to levy new sanctions on Iran, U.S. officials said Thursday, in the first punitive action since the White House put Iran “on notice” after it test-fired a ballistic missile.