Tehran will not abide by any of its commitments to the 2015 nuclear accord it signed with world powers, pushing the deal closer to total collapse as the fallout from the US killing of an Iranian commander intensified. Iran’s decision to no longer limit the number of centrifuges used for enrichment raised the spectre of the country developing a nuclear weapon.
Sunday’s announcement came after Donald Trump threatened to attack 52 targets, including cultural sites in Iran, if Tehran retaliated for the killing of Qassem Soleimani. The US president added that he would impose sanctions on Iraq if Baghdad followed through with a parliamentary vote to expel US troops from Iraq in retaliation for the American air strikes on its soil that also killed an Iraqi militia leader.
“If they do ask us to leave, if we don’t do it in a very friendly basis, we will charge them sanctions like they’ve never seen before, ever,” Mr Trump said on Sunday. “It’ll make Iranian sanctions look somewhat tame.”
Mr. Trump added that American troops would not leave unless Iraq repaid the costs of an air base worth billions of dollars. Tehran’s announcement came hours after hundreds of thousands of Iranians gathered in Mashhad, Iran’s holiest city, to mourn Soleimani. Iran’s nuclear announcement fell short of a total withdrawal from the accord. It said it would continue its co-operation with the International Atomic Energy Agency, the nuclear watchdog monitoring the agreement. Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, also said on Sunday that Tehran could reverse steps towards developing a nuclear program if the US ended punitive sanctions that have crippled its economy.