What Happened: Iran announced on Sept. 7 that it has begun using advanced centrifuges to enrich uranium, further violating the 2015 nuclear deal, The Hill reported. Iran said it would continue to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency to monitor its nuclear sites, however.
Why It Matters: Iran insists it doesn't seek a nuclear weapon, but its latest step away from the 2015 deal threatens to push its uranium enrichment past the 20 percent level it reached before the agreement and closer to weapons-grade levels of 90 percent. The announcement further serves as the latest warning to the European signatories to the deal that they are running out of time to offer new terms that will persuade Tehran to stay in the accord.
Background: President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the 2015 nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, last year and imposed sanctions on Iran. Since May, Iran has begun to exceed limits on its nuclear capacity set by the pact in retaliation for U.S. pressure.
- Iran: Tehran Takes Another Hit at What Remains of the Nuclear Deal (Sept. 6, 2019)
- Iran Goes All in for a Game of Nuclear Chicken (July 11, 2019)
- Tehran Journeys Down a Provocative Nuclear Path (July 8, 2019)