Iran

Iran violates limit established in nuclear deal, UN finds

Obama administration under fire after Wall Street Journal reports US agreed to sign 'secret document' lifting sanctions on Iranian banks regime was releasing four American prisoners. Fox News' James Rosen and Amb. John Bolton dissect the developments

 

Iran violated one of the terms of its nuclear deal signed with six world powers by exceeding a limit on its heavy water stockpile, according to a report from United Nations monitors on Wednesday -- the same day the rogue nation demanded the U.S. stick to the deal, no matter what.

The confidential report by the U.N.'s atomic watchdog, seen by The Associated Press, came out shortly after Iran issued its warning to the U.S. following the election of Donald Trump. The president-elect earlier described the Iran agreement as "the worst deal ever negotiated."

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The deal specifies a heavy water limit of 143.3 tons. The International Atomic Energy Agency report found that Iran's stockpile exceeded that amount by 0.10 metric tons. It marked the second time Iran stepped over the limit, according to investigators.

Heavy water is a potential proliferation concern because it is used in reactors that produce substantial amounts of plutonium, a potential path to nuclear weapons.

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The report noted that Tehran had announced plans to export 5.5 tons to an unspecified country, bringing it back under the limit -- but did not specify which nation would receive that shipment.

The State Dept. acknowledged that under Trump, the U.S. could move to scrap the deal. However, it could easily rankle European nations who signed on and already started doing business with the Islamic Republic, USA Today notes.

In addition, analysts warn the move could deal a blow to Shiite militias fighting the Islamic State in Iraq. Iran continues to support the Shiite fighters.

"It's important to note that Iran made no effort to hide this, hide what it was doing from the IAEA," State Dept. spokesman Mark Toner told reporters.

Iran also overstepped the limit in February, the IAEA added.

Meanwhile, the chief of staff of Iran's armed forces criticized Trump for the president-elect's harsh words about confronting Iranian boats in the Persian Gulf, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.

Gen. Mohammad Hossein Bagheri said, "The person who has recently achieved power, has talked off the top of his head! Threatening Iran in the Persian Gulf is just a joke."

He said American presidential candidates during their campaigns "eat too much sugar," a reference to a Farsi proverb about people who talk nonsense.

In September, Trump said Iranian ships trying to provoke the U.S. "will be shot out of the water." In January, Iran took 10 American sailors prisoner after their ship veered off course into Iranian waters; they were released a day later.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.