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Iran 'playing with fire' by breaching nuclear deal limit, says Donald Trump

News Agencies | Updated on: 2 July 2019, 9:18 IST

United States President Donald Trump said on Monday that Iran is "playing with fire" after Tehran announced earlier in the day that it had exceeded the limit on enriched uranium reserves set under the 2015 nuclear deal.

"They [Iran] know what they're doing," Al Jazeera quoted Trump as saying. "They know what they're playing with, and I think they're playing with fire."

The White House said earlier that Washington would continue to impose maximum pressure on the Iranian regime until it "ends its nuclear ambitions and malign behaviour."

"Maximum pressure on the Iranian regime will continue until its leaders alter their course of action. The regime must end its nuclear ambitions and its malign behaviour," the statement reads.

Citing an "informed source," Iran's Fars news agency on Monday had reported that Iran has exceeded the amount of enriched uranium that it was allowed to have under a 2015 nuclear deal (officially called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA]).

The country stopped complying with some elements of the agreement in May, a year after the US unilaterally withdrew from the deal.

The agreement was signed with an aim to limit Iran's civilian energy programme, thereby preventing it from developing nuclear weapons at some point in the future, in exchange for relief from sanctions that were crippling the country's economy.

The deal was hailed as a major diplomatic victory by the Obama administration. However, last year, Donald Trump-led US government had withdrawn from the deal, terming it as "defective at its core".

Washington's decision of pulling out from the agreement soured its ties with Iran. In the past year, the Trump administration has slapped a multitude of sanctions on Tehran citing the latter's support to state-sponsored terrorism and conflicts.


First published: 2 July 2019, 9:18 IST