Iran warns it will break uranium stockpile limits set out in nuclear deal within 10 days

Iran warns it will break uranium stockpile limits set out in nuclear deal within 10 days and will enrich uranium close to weapon-grade level after Tehran was blamed for oil tanker attacks

Iran will breach the nuclear deal it signed with the Obama White House within 10 days, a spokesman for the country’s atomic agency has said.

Behrouz Kamalvandi told reporters that Tehran would exceed stockpile limits for enriched uranium by June 27 after quadrupling its output.

He also warned that Tehran will increase enrichment levels to 20 per cent from the current 3.67 per cent, just one step away from weapons-grade.

Iran had set a deadline of July 7 for European signatories – including France, Germany and Britain – to salvage the deal after America withdrew, or else it would stop complying.

Tehran currently enriches uranium to 3.67 per cent, the minimum level needed to fuel a nuclear power station. 

But Mr Kamalvandi said Monday that the country needs 5 per cent enrichment for its nuclear power plant in southern Iranian port of Bushehr and 20 per cent enrichment for a Tehran research reactor. 

Weapons-grade uranium is enriched to 90 per cent, but going from 20 per cent to 90 per cent is a much quicker process than going from 3.67 per cent to 20 per cent. 

Enriching to any level above 3.67 per cent would put Iran in breach of the pact. 

His comments come in the wake of suspected attacks on oil tankers last week in the region that Washington has blamed on Iran and amid heightened tensions between Iran and the U.S., a year after President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America for the nuclear deal.

Kamalvandi acknowledged that the country already quadrupled its production of low-enriched uranium.