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Iran plans new centrifuges for enriching uranium

Iran will step up its work on developing new centrifuges for enriching uranium, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday, according to The Guardian.

The move is another instance of Tehran scaling back its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal, from which the U.S. withdrew in 2018.

Other parties to the pact have attempted to salvage it in recent months, with French President Emmanuel Macron trying to sell President Trump at the Group of 7 summit on a proposal under which Iran would reinstate full compliance with the deal in exchange for partial sanctions relief and a $15 billion credit line.

While Trump initially appeared open to the proposal without the credit line, the State Department’s special representative for Iran Brian Hook told The Guardian on Wednesday that “there is no concrete proposal.”

“We have no idea if there will be one. So we’re not going to comment on something that doesn’t exist,” Hook said.

He also said further oil sanctions would be forthcoming. “We can’t make it any more clear that we are committed to this campaign of maximum pressure and we are not looking to grant any exceptions or waivers,” Hook said.

In a televised speech Wednesday, Rouhani reportedly said the nation would disregard restrictions on centrifuge research and development.

“We will take all necessary steps to protect the Iranian nation’s rights and interests … Our third step involves the development of centrifuges. We will take this step on Friday,” Rouhani said.

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