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French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian warned on Saturday that Iran is in the process of building up its nuclear weapons capacity, Reuters reported.

He added that it is urgent that Iran and the US return to the 2015 nuclear agreement that Iran signed with world powers, including France.

"The Trump administration chose what it called the maximum pressure campaign on Iran. The result was that this strategy only increased the risk and the threat," Le Drian was quoted as having told the Journal du Dimanche newspaper.

"This has to stop because Iran and - I say this clearly - is in the process of acquiring nuclear (weapons) capacity," he added.

Iran has gradually scaled back its compliance with the 2015 deal in response to US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement in May of 2018.

Last week, the Islamic Republic announced it had resumed enrichment of uranium at its underground site in Fordow.

Several days later, it started work on uranium metal-based fuel for a research reactor.

Iran’s continued violations of the deal are viewed as a means to challenge US President-elect Joe Biden, who has taken a different approach to the Iran deal than Trump and has expressed a desire to rejoin the agreement.

Biden recently told The New York Times that he would do so if Iran returned to compliance with it.

The Iranian government, however, has ruled out the possibility of renegotiating the nuclear deal, saying it was fully discussed in detail five years ago and needs no renegotiations.

With presidential elections in Iran due in June, Le Drian said it was urgent to "tell the Iranians that this is enough" and to bring Iran and the United States back into the accord.

At the same time, he added that even if both sides were to return to the deal, it would not be enough.

"Tough discussions will be needed over ballistic proliferation and Iran's destabilization of its neighbors in the region," Le Drian said, according to Reuters.