US President Donald Trump warned Monday that Iran is “playing with fire” after Tehran said it exceeded a limit on enriched uranium reserves under a 2015 nuclear deal abandoned by Washington.
“Iran has crossed the 300-kilogram limit based on its plan” announced in May, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told semi-official news agency ISNA.
But he also said the move could be reversed.
“They know what they’re doing. They know what they’re playing with and I think they’re playing with fire,” Trump told reporters at the White House when asked about Iran.
The United States withdrew from the nuclear deal last year and hit Iran’s crucial oil exports and financial transactions as well as other sectors with biting sanctions.
Zarif insisted Iran had done nothing wrong. “We have NOT violated the #JCPOA,” he tweeted, referring to the deal.
He said Iran would “reverse” its decision “as soon as E3 abide by their obligations” — referring to the European parties to the deal: Britain, France and Germany.
Zarif’s US counterpart Mike Pompeo accused Iran of using its nuclear program “to extort the international community and threaten regional security.”
The International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed Iran had exceeded the limit that the deal imposed on its stockpile of low-enriched uranium (LEU).
Russia’s deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, said Iran’s move was a cause for “regret” but also “a natural consequence of recent events” and a result of the “unprecedented pressure” from the US.
“One mustn’t dramatize the situation,” Ryabkov, whose country is a close ally of Tehran, said in comments reported by Russian news agencies.
Britain’s Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt said on Twitter that London was “deeply worried” and urged Iran to “come back to compliance” with the nuclear deal.
UN chief Antonio Guterres said it was “essential” that Iran stick to the deal.