Tehran appears set to honor the 7 July deadline it put in place regarding increased uranium enrichment. The Iranian government has said repeatedly it will no longer honor the enrichment restrictions in the 2015 nuclear deal unless European nations can provide relief from the stringent US economic sanctions now in place. It is becoming apparent that the European effort has failed and come Sunday Iran will begin enriching uranium in any amount it sees fit. Iran has stated the enrichment level will be below the 90-percent purity necessary for uranium to be considered weapons grade. Given Iran’s penchant for misleading statements and outright lies in the past, this claim is circumspect to say the least.
The United States is not taking chances. The Trump administration regards Iran’s statements as threats and has made subtle hints about possible retaliation. Given the fact that President Trump cancelled retaliatory strikes on Iran after a US drone was shot down by Iranian forces last month, Tehran is probably not too concerned by Washington’s rhetoric.
Disregarding the Trump administration’s warnings would be a monumental mistake. The US had made it clear it will not stand by and allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons. This position is nothing short of a red line and the US is not going to budge.
We’ll discuss this more after the deadline passes on Sunday.