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Iran Ramps Up Uranium Enrichment & Seizes Tanker

NBC NEWS - TEHRAN — Iran has resumed enriching uranium up to 20 percent in the country’s biggest breach yet of the landmark nuclear deal with world powers, government spokesperson Ali Rabiee told the state-run Mehr News on Monday.

Also on Monday, Iran’s revolutionary guard seized a South Korean-flagged ship carrying thousands of tons of ethanol in the Persian Gulf, according to state-linked news agencies IRIB and FARS News.

The enrichment hike puts Iran a technical step away from enriching at 90 percent, the level needed to produce a nuclear warhead. Before the announcement, Iran was enriching uranium at around 4.5 percent, in violation of the nuclear pact but at a significantly lower level.

The news comes amid simmering tensions between the United States and Iran in the last days of President Donald Trump’s administration. Trump unilaterally withdrew America from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018, setting off a series of escalating incidents that culminated in the killing of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in Iraq on Jan. 3 last year.

The enrichment announcement and the seizure of the ship came the day after the one year anniversary of Soleimani’s killing that saw thousands take to the streets to protest his death in Iraq on Sunday.

According to Iranian officials, the enrichment is being carried out at Iran's Fordo nuclear facility, which is hidden deep inside a mountain near the holy city of Qom. Under the terms....READ MORE

NBC News is the news division of the American broadcast television network NBC. The division operates under NBCUniversal News Group, a division of NBCUniversal, which is, in turn, a subsidiary of Comcast. The news division's various operations report to the president of NBC News, Noah Oppenheim.



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