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IAEA Says Iran Continues To Enrich Uranium In Breach Of Nuclear Deal

A grab from Islamic Republic Iran Broadcasting, IRIB, state-run TV, shows three versions of domestically-built centrifuges are shown in a live TV program from Natanz,June 6, 2018

In a new report the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced Friday that the Islamic Republic has remained in violation of limitations set by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or Tehran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

"Iran's stockpile of low-enriched uranium still exceeds the amount allowed by the JCPOA," the agency said in a leaked confidential quarterly report for the parties to the deal, China, France, Germany, Russia, and the U.K.

Furthermore, the report has also disclosed that Iran continues to enrich uranium up to 4.5%, above the 3.67% permitted by the JCPOA.

In its previous report last July, IAEA said that Iran had exceeded both its 202.8-kg limit on enriched uranium stock and its 3.67% cap on the fissile purity to which Tehran is allowed to refine uranium.

Earlier, Tehran had threatened the Europeans that if they continue to hesitate to assist Iran in skipping the crippling U.S. sanctions imposed on the country, it will step by step drop its commitments to the nuclear deal.

Since the withdrawal of Washington from the nuclear deal in May 2018, the European parties to the agreement have been struggling to keep JCPOA alive.

After a meeting with his French and British counterparts on Friday, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said a thaw in US-Iran tensions must result in new talks about the JCPOA.

Heiko Maas also maintained that he wanted to ensure a pledge by U.S. President Donald Trump to defuse tensions with Iran bears fruit.

Speaking to reporters after brief talks between Germany, France, and Britain along with E.U. Foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini on the sidelines of an E.U. meeting in Helsinki, Maas insisted that E.U.'s priority is a "return to dialogue between Washington and Tehran."

"After the G7 summit in Biarritz we are all of the opinion that the momentum that perhaps exists, the readiness for dialogue on both sides---must now be used," Maas said.

Nevertheless, the Islamic Republic President Hassan Rouhani has repeatedly asserted that the only way out of the deadlock is the removal of all sanctions Washington has imposed on Iran.

With reporting by Reuters