The nuclear deal between Iran and the United States is in a fragile state at the moment, and officials have now revealed that the Middle Eastern country has massively increased its enriched uranium production. This increased production could see Iran rapidly approach the stockpile limit previously agreed upon with other world powers.
Under the nuclear deal signed in 2015, Iran is only allowed to enrich uranium up to 3.67 percent, which is enough to supply a power plant, but well bellow the necessary quantity to produce an atomic weapon. However, tensions between the U.S. and Iran have grown quickly over the last few days, with President Donald Trump and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif feuding on Twitter -- posing a threat to the stability of the deal, per The Daily Mail.
Tehran has set a deadline of July 7 for European leadership to define new terms for the deal, but with increased tensions between the Middle Eastern nation and the U.S., it is hard to determine whether or not Iran will uphold the agreement. Trump has been criticizing the Iranian government in a series of tweets, at one point even describing Zarif as "genocidal," which has several countries around the world worried.
And now, Foreign Minister Zarif has claimed that Iran will not negotiate with the United States unless it shows "respect" for the country, according to CNN. In an exclusive interview, Zarif said that President Trump is "playing a very, very dangerous game" by deciding to increase its military presence in the Middle East."Having all these military assets in a small area is in of itself prone to accidents," Zarif said, in reference to the U.S.'s decision to send the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group -- as well as a bomber task force -- to the Gulf.
"Extreme prudence is required," he added.The deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action -- or JCPOA -- was signed by Iran, the United States, the United Kingdom, China, France, Russia, and Germany. The goal was to see Iran clamp down on its enriched uranium production amid fears it would produce enough to design nuclear weapons, and in exchange, those countries would lift their sanctions against Iran so that their economy could grow. However, the U.S. withdrew from the deal last year, and it appears that Iran is not willing to negotiate with Washington for the time being.
"We acted in good faith. We are not willing to talk to people who have broken their promises," Zarif told CNN.