Iran quadruples production of low-enriched uranium Tehran

Saul Bowman
May 21, 2019

Some have questioned the sources of intelligence about Iran's purported militarization and preparation for conflict with the USA, noting that evidence for claims that Iran was arming fast-attack ships with missles was based on satellite imagery provided to US officials by Israel, no friend of Iran.

Iran's foreign minister has criticised President Donald Trump for his overnight tweet threatening the Islamic Republic with its "official end".

In response, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Trump had been "goaded" into "genocidal taunts".

"We want peace and stability in the region, but we won't stand with our hands bound as the Iranians continuously attack". #EconomicTerrorism & genocidal taunts won't 'end Iran.' #NeverThreatenAnIranian.

Earlier Monday, Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, met with his visiting counterpart from Oman, Yusuf bin Alawi.

Last week, Trump had appeared to be backing away from his apparently hawkish stance against Iran, saying he would be open to talks.

In a separate development, a recent report by The New York Times argued that it is Bolton who is behind the creation of a plan, allegedly presented by acting Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan earlier this month, to deploy 120,000 United States troops to the Middle East if Iran starts developing nuclear weapons.

But there has been no apparent let-up in the tensions between the United States, its regional allies and Iran.

However, the tweet came after a rocket landed less than a mile from the sprawling US Embassy in Baghdad in the Iraqi capital's heavily fortified Green Zone Sunday night. No injuries were reported.

The president "rightly deplores "military-industrial complex" pushing U.S. #ForeverWars", Zarif wrote on Twitter.

Former CIA Director David Petraeus criticized National Security Adviser John Bolton's previous talk of regime change for the Iranian government, saying "the regime change aftermath is not always what we have hoped it would be". Iran-allied rebels in Yemen claimed a drone attack on a Saudi oil pipeline.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had been asking the administration for a briefing for all lawmakers on the situation in Iran, but she said the request was initially rebuffed.

The incident came after the mysterious sabotage of four ships, including two Saudi oil tankers, off the coast of the United Arab Emirates. Those measures undermined Iran's ability to dispose of excess materials, forcing it to choose either between stopping enrichment, as the Trump administration wants, or abandoning its commitment to the storage threshold.

In response, countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) began "enhanced security patrols" in the global waters of the Arabian Gulf area on Saturday, the US Navy's Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet said on Sunday.

The US has also moved a carrier battle group and B-52 bombers into the region.

Relations between Washington and Tehran plummeted a year ago when Trump pulled out of a landmark 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and imposed tough sanctions.

Both the semi-official Fars and Tasnim news agencies reported on the quadrupled production quoting Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesmen of Iran's nuclear agency.

The embassy in Baghdad and the US consulate in the Iraqi Kurdish regional capital Erbil had moved out non-emergency staff this week out of apparent concern about perceived threats from Iran.

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