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Monday, February 6th, 2023

Iran poised to raise its uranium enrichment amid tensions

Tehran: Iran appears poised to raise its enrichment of uranium and break another limit from its faltering 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, putting new pressure on Europe to save the accord amid a maximalist US sanctions campaign on Tehran.

A year after President Donald Trump pulled the US from the deal, Iran already has broken through the limit the deal put on its stockpile of low-enriched uranium. On Sunday, state television reported that officials would hold a news conference to brief journalists on the steps they would take.

In this picture released by Iran, senior figures from the Revolutionary Guard salute Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.Credit:AP

All this comes as America has rushed thousands of troops, an aircraft carrier, nuclear-capable B-52 bombers and advanced fighter jets to the Middle East. Mysterious oil tanker attacks near the Strait of Hormuz, attacks by Iranian-backed rebels in Yemen on Saudi Arabia and Iran shooting down a US military drone have raised fears of a wider conflict engulfing the region.

In a last-minute diplomatic bid, French President Emmanuel Macron spoke to his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, by phone Saturday, saying he is trying to find a way by July 15 to resume dialogue between Iran and Western partners. However, hopes for saving the faltering deal appear increasingly dim, as tensions between the US and Iran continue to rise.