A top adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday suggested that Iran could resume its uranium enrichment in the wake of the U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal.
The adviser, Ali Akbar Velayati, was quoted by The Associated Press as saying Iran is "capable to spin centrifuges for enrichment" to higher levels should it choose to do so.
Velayati added that Iran should also accelerate production of nuclear propulsions and also research on advanced centrifuges. He claimed this wouldn't violate the nuclear deal, which put limits on Iran's atomic program in exchange for lifting economic sanctions.
U.S. President Donald Trump announced earlier this month that he would pull out of the Iran deal and would reimpose sanctions on the Islamic Republic that were frozen as part of the agreement.
While Trump withdrew from the Iran deal and announced he would reimpose sanctions on Iran, the European Union did not follow suit, and said it would remain in the agreement and will do so “as long as Iran continues to implement its nuclear related commitments, as it is doing so far.”
Iran and the European signatories to the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), held talks in Vienna on the weekend on how to keep the deal alive despite Washington’s withdrawal.
Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi warned on Sunday that Iran will leave these negotiations if it feels that they are a waste of time.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani made clear several weeks ago that his country would only give Europe a “limited opportunity” to preserve the nuclear deal.