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Rouhani: Iran Prepared To Enrich Uranium At Higher Level

Iranian President Hassan Rohani (file photo)

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has repeated that Tehran is prepared to "take the next step" and begin enriching uranium on July 7 at a level beyond the level of 3.67 percent concentration allowed in the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

"If you want to express regret and issue a statement, you can do it now," AP quoted Rouhani as saying.

In May, Rouhani gave fellow signatories Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China 60 days to protect Iran's oil and banking industries from U.S. economic sanctions imposed after Washington withdrew from the accord a year earlier. That deadline falls on July 7.

World powers have been calling on Tehran to adhere to the nuclear deal after it was confirmed on July 1 that Iran breached the limit on its stockpile of low-enriched uranium set under the agreement, which was intended to curb the country's nuclear activities.

Rouhani said that the Arak nuclear actor, which was decommissioned under the nuclear accord, would return to its previous activities, Iranian media reported.

Prior to the deal, Iran had enriched uranium to as high as 20 percent, putting weapons-grade levels within reach.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP