Iran announces announces higher enrichment levels set by 2015 nuclear deal

Iran on Monday said it has surpassed uranium enrichment levels set by the 2015 nuclear deal but did not specify how much more the enrichment levels would rise, according to reports.

The announcement, which was first made on Iran's state-run news agency, marks a major reversal from the terms set by the 2015 nuclear deal, which promised eased sanctions in exchange for Iran scaling back its nuclear ambitions.

FILE: Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi speaks at a media conference in Tehran, Iran. 

FILE: Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi speaks at a media conference in Tehran, Iran.  (AP)

Behrouz Kamalvandi, a spokesman for Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, said the country has passed the 3.67% uranium enrichment cap imposed by the 2015 nuclear deal and may proceed further, Reuters reported.

Iran's earlier announcement that it would boost uranium enrichment above the cap prompted a rebuke from President Trump on Sunday, saying: “Iran better be careful. … Iran is doing a lot of bad things,” Trump said. “Iran will never have a nuclear weapon.”

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Iran has said it was inching its program closer toward weapons-grade levels while calling for a diplomatic solution to a crisis that has raised tensions with the U.S.

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The enrichment still remains below weapons-grade levels, leaving possible room for dialogue with Europe and other world leaders to ease tensions in the region, the Washington Post reported.