Vastavam web: Iran announced on Monday it would breach uranium enrichment limits in 10 days in a move that drew an accusation of “nuclear blackmail” from Washington, but it added that European nations still had time to save the nuclear deal that sets those curbs. In an indication of Western concern at Iran’s initiative, a White House National Security Council spokesman said the plan amounted to “nuclear blackmail” and must be met with increased international pressure.
Britain said if Iran breached limits agreed under the deal then London would look at “all options”. Close U.S. ally Israel, Iran’s arch foe, urged world powers to step up sanctions against Tehran swiftly should it exceed the enriched uranium limit. U.S.-Iran tensions are growing following accusations by U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration that Tehran last Thursday attacked two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, a vital oil shipping route. Iran denies having any role.
Iran’s Armed Forces Chief of Staff, Major General Mohammad Baqeri, on Monday denied Tehran was behind the attacks and said if the Islamic Republic decided to block the strategic Strait of Hormuz shipping lane it would do so publicly.
The secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani, said Tehran was responsible for security in the Gulf and urged U.S. forces to leave the region, state TV said.