26,239. 7/3/2019

IRAN/MILITARY/NUCLEAR/SANCTIONS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Iran will begin as early as Sunday [7-7-19] to enrich uranium ‘in any amount that we want,’ President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday [7-3-19], declaring that Tehran would exceed the levels specified under its 2015 accord with the United States and other global powers. Mr. Rouhani’s pledge to accelerate the country’s uranium enrichment is the latest step in an escalating confrontation with the United States that is already shaking the region as Washington and Tehran face off over President Trump’s withdrawal from the nuclear pact and imposition of crippling economic sanctions on Iran. Restarting the production of highly enriched uranium could constitute a first step toward the construction of a nuclear weapon. It may be a potentially fatal blow to the 2015 deal itself, which sought to provide Iran with relief from international economic sanctions in exchange for restrictions on any efforts by Tehran to develop such a weapon. And because it raises the possibility that Iran might seek a bomb — which Iran insists it does not want — the enrichment is also likely to reopen questions about whether the United States or Israel might take military action against Iran’s nuclear facilities to delay its success.”

David D. Kirkpatrick and Farnaz Fassihi, “Rouhani Says Iran Will Begin Enriching Uranium at Higher Level in Days,” The New York Times online, July 3, 2019

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