TEHRAN—Iran reported Monday it has resumed enriching uranium to 20% purity, a sizeable breach of the 2015 nuclear deal that slashes the time it would get for Tehran to develop the quality of gasoline wanted for a nuclear weapon.
The enrichment stage is better than at any position since the deal was signed, and crosses a red line set earlier by European nations that remained fully commited to the settlement soon after the Trump administration withdrew from it in 2018.
The breach threatens to complicate a prepared effort and hard work by the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden to revive the deal, which positioned limits on Tehran’s nuclear system, and raises tensions in the Center East when the region is already on edge.
Tehran has vowed to avenge the killings of a major Iranian nuclear scientist in November and a senior Iranian general, who died in a U.S. drone strike past January. The strike followed a yr of spiraling hostilities in the region that incorporated explosions on oil tankers and an assault on important Saudi oil amenities that the U.S. blamed on Iran.
Iranian forces also seized a South Korea-flagged ship on Monday, in accordance to a semiofficial Iranian information agency, even more heightening tensions with a U.S. ally. Forces boarded the vessel mainly because it was producing unspecified pollution in the Persian Gulf, the agency reported. The vessel’s operator, DM Transport of Busan, South Korea, did not answer to phone calls.