Khamenei ups the ante against US, vows nuclear deal breach Jul 17, 2019 0 1063 12345 ReutersDUBAIIran’s supreme leader upped the ante in a volatile stand-off with the United States on Tuesday, warning Tehran would continue removing restraints on its nuclear programme and retaliate for the seizure of an Iranian oil tanker.European parties to the pact decided on Monday not to trigger the deal’s dispute mechanism in favour of pursuing more talks and avert any US-Iranian military conflict, but took no action to shield Iran against a sanctions clampdown by Trump.Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s ultimate authority, accused Britain, Germany and France of failing to uphold obligations under the deal to restore Iranian access to global trade, especially for Tehran’s oil exports blocked by US sanctions.“According to our foreign minister, Europe made 11 commitments, none of which they abided by. We abided by our commitments and even beyond them. Now that we’ve begun to reduce our commitments, they oppose it. How insolent! You didn’t abide by your commitments!” Khamenei said, according to his website.“We have started to reduce our commitments and this trend shall continue,” Khamenei said in remarks carried by state television. He has previously upbraided European powers for not standing up to Trump and circumventing his sanctions noose. Russia and China are also parties to the accord.But it was the first time Khamenei explicitly pledged to press ahead with breaches of the nuclear deal, spurning European appeals to Iran to restore limits on enrichment aimed at obviating any dash to developing atomic bombs.Iran has long denied any intent to acquire nuclear weapons, and has said all its breaches could be reversed if Washington returned to the deal and its economic dividends were realised.“Western governments’ major vice is their arrogance,” Khamenei said. “If the country opposing them is a weak one, their arrogance works. But if it’s a country that knows and stands up against them, they will be defeated.” IAEA inspectors last week confirmed Iran is now enriching uranium to 4.5% fissile purity, above the 3.67% limit set by its deal, the second breach in as many weeks after Tehran exceeded limits on its stock of low-enriched uranium.The level at which Iran is now refining uranium is still well below the 20% purity of enrichment. RELATED ARTICLES Sudan paramilitaries ‘torture’ civilian to death, say doctors Jul 17, 2019 0 269 3 children among 10 civilians killed in Syria regime air raids Jul 17, 2019 0 245 Palestinians warn diplomats over Israel demolition plans Jul 17, 2019 0 281 Iran’s Zarif warns US is ‘playing with fire’ AFP United States Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned Monday that the United States is “playing with fire,” echoing remarks by President Donald Trump as the two sides are locked in a standoff over .. Iran confirms arrest of French-Iranian academic Tehran: Iran confirmed Tuesday arrest of a French-Iranian academic without giving any details of her case. The detention of Fariba Adelkhah, 60, risks increasing tension between Paris and Tehran at a critical moment in .. ‘Pirates’ kidnap 10 Turkish sailors off Nigeria coast AFP Ankara Ten Turkish sailors on a cargo ship were kidnapped by armed men off the coast of Nigeria, Turkish state media reported Tuesday. The Turkish-flagged Paksoy-I cargo vessel, operated by shipping company .. UN envoy arrives in Yemen for talks with Houthi rebels dpa Sana’a The United Nations’ special envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, arrived in Sana’a on Tuesday, an airport source said, for meetings with the Houthi rebels a day after meeting their rivals. Griffiths met Yemeni .. 13 people killed in Nigeria building collapse Jos: Thirteen people in central Nigeria died after a three-storey residential building collapsed after torrential rain, emergency workers said Tuesday. Rescue crews sifted through the rubble overnight after the .. S Africa’s Zuma bats away graft inquiry questions Johannesburg: Former South African president Jacob Zuma on Tuesday rebuffed all accusations of wrongdoing on his second day of testimony at an inquiry into corruption under his rule. Zuma said he and his family had ..