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Iran to begin enriching uranium beyond 3.67% 'in few hours'; threatens to abandon more nuclear commitments in '60 days'

File photo of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Photograph:( Reuters )

AFP Tehran, Iran Jul 07, 2019, 12.54 PM (IST)

Iran will begin enriching uranium beyond a 3.67 per cent cap set by a landmark nuclear deal "in a few hours", the Islamic republic's atomic energy organisation spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said Sunday.

The "order received from the president" Hassan Rouhani would be implemented in a few hours after the last technical details were sorted, Kamalvandi said live on state television.

Iran has also threatened to abandon more nuclear commitments in '60 days'.

"We hope we can reach a solution otherwise after 60 days we will take the third step as well," Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said at a news conference, singling out Iran's declining oil sales as one of the main issues that needed to be solved.

France has warned Tehran that it would "gain nothing" by leaving the deal and has said "challenging the agreement would only increase tensions" in the Middle East.

Iran says that it is not violating the deal, citing terms of the agreement allowing one side to temporarily abandon some of commitments if it deems the other side is not respecting its part of the accord.

The diplomatic chiefs of Britain, France, Germany and the EU have said they were "extremely concerned".

Trump, meanwhile, has warned Iran that it is "playing with fire".

Story highlights

The 'order received from the president' Hassan Rouhani would be implemented in a few hours after the last technical details were sorted, Islamic republic's atomic energy organisation spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said.