Monday, 21 May, 2018

Iran vows to pursue 'industrial-scale enrichment' if nuclear deal fails

On Iran and Trump India Has Landed Between a Rock and a Hard Place How Shell could be hit by Iran deal pull-out
Melinda Barton | 16 May, 2018, 08:12

"The PM said the United Kingdom would continue to work with the USA to keep up the pressure on North Korea to denuclearise".

The Europeans and Iranians have now tasked experts to come up with measures quickly and will meet again in Vienna next week at a deputy foreign minister level.

At the same time, the government said it has tasked the president of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran with "taking all necessary steps in preparation for Iran to pursue industrial-scale enrichment without any restrictions, using the results of the latest research and development of Iran's fearless nuclear scientists".

Maas said the Europeans wanted to ensure that Iran would continue to abide by the rules and restrictions of the nuclear agreement.

Bolton said Sunday that it's "possible" that could include European companies that do business with Iran.

European powers vowed to keep the 2015 nuclear deal alive without the United States by trying to keep Iran's oil and investment flowing, but admitted they would struggle to provide the guarantees Tehran seeks.

Zarif will later fly to Moscow and Brussels to consult the remaining signatories to the 2015 agreement denounced by US President Donald Trump.

On Thursday, Israel claimed it had struck nearly all of Iran's military capabilities in Syria after the rocket attack on the Golan Heights, which Israel annexed in 1981.

The International Atomic Energy Agency has stated that Iran has passed investigations, and this has been consistently verified and documented. "The general mood music is that it's going to be very hard", she said.

"We are going to have a conversation about what we can do to help United Kingdom firms, European firms have some confidence that they can still do business", he said.

"In the years since the deal was reached, Iran's military budget has grown by nearly 40 percent, while its economy is doing very badly", Trump said during the speech. "Its ballistic missile program, which continued essentially unchecked, was proof that what they were seeking was delivery systems for the nuclear weapons", Bolton told CNN.

And the Number 10 spokesman added: "The Prime Minister raised the potential impact of U.S. sanctions on those firms which are now conducting business in Iran".

In an interview with Le Parisien, the foreign minister said: "We feel that the extraterritoriality of their sanction measures are unacceptable".

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is seen on Tuesday.

The possible collapse of a deal which had promised to keep Iran in check comes as Israel attacked Iran's military installations in Syria.

He rejected an idea of compensating German companies who lose Iranian business due to new sanctions, and companies themselves must make "whichever decision is right in their individual cases" in continuing business with Iran.

Al-Bilad Islamic Bank and its CEO and chairman, Aras Habib, were also hit with US sanctions, as was Muhammad Qasir, who the Treasury said is a Hezbollah official who has been a "critical conduit" for transferring funds to Hezbollah from the Revolutionary Guards.

Trump's decision has created a tricky game of strategy for other countries that remain committed to the agreement, which was endorsed by the U.N. Security Council after years of negotiations. No regime loyalists would dare say it, especially to an American reporter, but Iranians are furious with their own government's failure to deliver basics like electricity, water and decent wages.

Each company and bank will have to decide whether to risk being cut off from the US financial system. European countries say Trump's decision will raise the risk of conflict in the region.