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Reports: Iran quadruples production of low-enriched uranium

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    In this Sunday, May 19, 2019, photo released by the U.S. Navy, an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter from the “Nightdippers” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 5 transports cargo from the fast combat support ship USNS Arctic to the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln during a replenishment-at-sea in the Arabian Sea. (Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jeff Sherman/U.S. Navy via AP)

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    In this Sunday, May 19, 2019, photo released by the U.S. Navy, Sailors scrub the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln in the Arabian Sea. (Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Garrett LaBarge/U.S. Navy via AP)

Published May 20. 2019 01:23PM

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran has quadrupled its production of low-enriched uranium amid tensions with the U.S. over Tehran’s unraveling nuclear accord, two semi-official news agencies reported Monday, an announcement just after President Donald Trump warned Iran it would face its “official end” if it threatened America again.

While the reports said the production is of uranium enriched only to the 3.67% limit set by the 2015 nuclear deal that Tehran reached with world powers, it means that Iran soon will go beyond the stockpile limitations established by the accord.

This follows days of heightened tensions sparked by the Trump administration’s deployment of bombers and an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf over still-unspecified threats from Iran. While Trump’s dueling approach of flattery and threats has become a hallmark of his foreign policy, the risks have only grown in dealing with Iran, where mistrust between Tehran and Washington stretch back four decades.

So far this month, officials in the United Arab Emirates alleged that four oil tankers sustained damage in a sabotage attack; Yemeni rebels allied with Iran launched a drone attack on an oil pipeline in Saudi Arabia; and U.S. diplomats relayed a warning that commercial airlines could be misidentified by Iran and attacked, something dismissed by Tehran.

All these tensions are the culmination of Trump’s decision a year ago to pull the U.S. out of Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers. While both Washington and Tehran say they don’t seek war, many worry any miscalculation could spiral out of control.

Both the semi-official Fars and Tasnim news agencies reported on the quadrupled production quoting Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesmen of Iran’s nuclear agency. He said the increase in production of 3.67% enriched uranium does not mean Iran increased the number of centrifuges it has in use, another requirement of the deal.

He said Iran “in weeks” would reach the 300-kilogram limit set by the nuclear deal.

Kamalvandi said Iran had informed the International Atomic Energy Agency about its move. The IAEA did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.

Trump’s tweet early Monday came just hours after a Katyusha rocket fell in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone near the statue of the Unknown Soldier, less than a mile from the U.S. Embassy, causing no injuries. Iraqi military spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasoul told The Associated Press that the rocket was believed to have been fired from eastern Baghdad. The area is home to Iran-backed Shiite militias.

“If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran,” Trump tweeted. “Never threaten the United States again!”

Trump did not elaborate, nor did the White House.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif responded by tweeting that Trump had been “goaded” into “genocidal taunts.” Zarif referenced both Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan as two historical leaders that Persia outlasted.

“Iranians have stood tall for a millennia while aggressors all gone,” he wrote. He ended his tweet with: “Try respect - it works!”

He also used the hashtag #NeverThreatenAnIranian, a reference to a comment he made in negotiations for the atomic accord.

Trump campaigned on pulling the U.S. from the 2015 nuclear accord, which saw Iran agree to limit its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. Since the withdrawal, the U.S. has re-imposed previous sanctions and come up with new ones, as well as warning other nations they would be subject to sanctions as well if they import Iranian oil.

Iran has said it would begin backing away from terms of the deal, setting a July 7 deadline for Europe to come up with new terms or it would begin enriching uranium closer to weapons-grade levels. Tehran long has insisted it does not seek nuclear weapons, though the West fears its program could allow it to build them.

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt told journalists in Geneva that Iran should not doubt the U.S. resolve, warning that “if American interests are attacked, they will retaliate.”

“We want the situation to de-escalate because this is a part of the world where things can get triggered accidentally,” Hunt said.

Meanwhile, Oman’s minister of state for foreign affairs made a previously unannounced visit Monday to Tehran, seeing Zarif, the state-run IRNA news agency reported. The visit by Yusuf bin Alawi comes after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Oman’s Sultan Qaboos bin Said last week. Oman long has served as a Western backchannel to Tehran and the sultanate hosted the secret talks between the U.S. and Oman that laid the groundwork for the nuclear deal negotiations.

In Saudi Arabia, the kingdom’s military intercepted two missiles fired by the Iranian-allied Houthi rebels in neighboring Yemen. The missiles were intercepted over the city of Taif and the Red Sea port city of Jiddah, the Saudi-owned satellite channel Al-Arabiya reported, citing witnesses. The Saudi government has yet to acknowledge the missile fire, which other Saudi media also reported.

Hundreds of rockets, mortar rounds and ballistic missiles have been fired into the kingdom since a Saudi-led coalition declared war on the Houthis in March 2015 to support Yemen’s internationally recognized government.

The Houthis’ Al-Masirah satellite news channel denied that the rebels had any involvement with this round of rocket fire.

Between the two targeted cities is Mecca, home to the cube-shaped Kaaba that Muslims pray toward five times a day. Many religious pilgrims are in the city for the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan.

Comments
President Trump to the rescue. Looks like the $150 Billion did not work to appease Iran. Obama/Kerry should be investigated for Iranian collusion and treason. The money went back “extra-Constitutional” as Iranians were chanting “death to America” in forced protests in their streets. Also, Kerry continued meetings with the Iranians to undermine the present administration.
Did Trump unilaterally withdrawing the US from the JCPOA have anything to do with the current situation, in your expert opinion? By most accounts, Iran was abiding by the terms of the JCPOA.
Good question JohnT. America has a long and complicated relationship with Iran. You, of course remember the Shah. You will also remember the US Embassy hostages. The JCPOA was a rushed agreement that had many weaknesses. One of those weaknesses was self inspection and self disclosure of nuclear materials. Yellow cake is highly refined Uranium that is ONLY used for weapons. The JCPOA was a hurried document that did not even request Iranian inventory of Yellow cake. Iran should not even have it anyway. Asking to inventory Yellow cake would cause Iran to reveal it’s intent...either civil or military. Sources say that President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry sat down (Obama by proxy) desperate for a deal during the last chapters of his Presidency. All the while, forced protests by Iranian citizens were in the streets chanting “death to America”.
This was blissfully ignored by our Government as we returned $150 Billion at night, unauthorized by Congress. Iran is a young nation that is intelligent and web oriented. They do not like their leadership either. Young Iranians want to Westernize. President Obama had a chance to win their hearts over a few years ago when they displayed rare resistance to their leaders. Obama remained silent. Instead Obama returned the money just as Iran was about to financially collapse. This weakness put us at a disadvantage. Therefore, the JCPOA was not worth the paper it was written on...sorry to say. Iran can never be allowed to have nuclear weapons. This is the predicament we are left in. All of the appeasers laud over the imaginary compliance of Iran. We all know where that heads: Neville Chamberlin -“Peace in Our Time”
In addition, Iran is a warmongering nation that has continued causing disturbances in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Philippines, etc. This is in spite of this agreement being initiated, not because it was wisely revoked.
This is incorrect. Yellowcake is the primary nuclear fuel for reactors and it is false to say it is only used in weapons.

The current Iran situation was manufactured by the administration, so yes I expect them to fix it. If the previous agreement wasn’t sufficient, negotiate in good faith for changes. What is problematic is unilaterally tearing it up then doing nothing until a crisis arises.
Here we are Joe. You would rather side with Iran rather than America because you hate President Trump so much. Checkmate...on you. Negotiation in good faith you say. Iran is and was a bastion of terrorism around the world before, during, and after the negotiations. Forced Iranian protesters chanted “Death to America” in the streets during the meetings. The Iranians played Obama/Kerry in what became a desperate legacy grab...that failed miserably. Even Chuck Schumer agrees. You, Joe, should move to Iran if you hate President Trump so much.
Can I trust you will re-enlist when we go to war with Iran? Or are you bigger hawk now that you are out?

Nothing in my post sided with Iran. I first pointed out your lie about yellowcake then repeated my expectation that trump restablize what what he destabilized.
Clarification: refining Yellow cake beyond the basic level and into a gas (UF6) Uranium Hexaflouride is only done for the purposes of weaponization. Iran sent 300 tons of Yellow Cake to be converted. The process is very inefficient, but, the Uranium UF6 yielded will be more than enough for many nuclear weapons. Iran has been a terrorist nation for many years. If need be we have to stand up to them. Do you, Joe, want a nuclear explosion in NYC? No one wants to go to war, especially the warriors involved. Young Iranians will overthrow their corrupt government as sanctions are increased. Last time they resisted they were rebuffed by Obama. They have to overcome the weak signals Obama sent. Remember, their individual lives are at stake at every protest. To say that it is President Trump’s fault is ignorant. Do you not remember the hostages? Iranian college punks took advantage of a weak President Carter. President Trump was dealt a bad hand. Joe, no one lied about Yellow Cake to you. In such a long post I could have clarified it a little better. President Trump did not destabilize anything. You hate Trump so much you can’t see straight. Also, don’t try the yellow hawk argument on me Joe. I will always be a warrior. A warrior, above all knows the cost of war since they are the ones paying the price. War should always be the final step. Iran will fold like a wet cardboard chair when they realize President Trump means what he says. Thank God for President Trump. Peace Through Strength. America doesn’t run away from threatening terrorists. Joe, there are times when America has to stand up and fight. I will defend you from Iran if you are afraid to protect the women and children.
When a citizen openly criticizes their President they side with the enemy. Don’t you think China, Iran, Russia and others sit back and read media sources. Enemies view America as disjointed and not fully supportive of Trump. China would have already given in to the tariff disagreement, Iran would have realized their mistake, and Russia would not try to interfere with our elections if America seemed strong and unified. The liberal resist agenda indicates weakness to our enemies.
Bullshit. It is my duty as an American to question our leaders. What you are suggesting in your post is called totalitarianism. This is what sets us apart from Iran.

Besides, were you tight lipped when the GOP questioned Obama? Did you criticize Trump going as far as telling the world Obama was actually a Kenyan and not the legal president?
Come on Joe. Is it your duty as an American to resist the legitimate results of a Presidential Election three years after it occurred?Is is proper to ride the coattails of fake evidence that was propagated for over two years? Is it ok to refuse to review sources because you don’t like the President? Is it fine to use Trump Derangement Syndrome as some sort of badge to rebuke the sitting President? Is it great to ignore the results of the Mueller Report because they exonerate Trump? This “questioning of our leaders” has developed into full blown dysfunction. You are so overcome by dysfunction you can’t tell totalitarianism from the best economy in years. Trump is facing headwinds that are unprecedented. Trump is winning, but, foreign countries notice. The foreign countries misread mental illness for organized logical opposition...just like you do.
Now, Joe, here you go again deflecting toward Obama. You just scolded Meyers about that recently. Stay on topic, please. Deflection indicates weakness as a result of confusion. Also, vulgar language is inappropriate. What is wrong, did you get turned down by a Doctoral Program?
Again, if you think it’s aligning with the enemy to question the president’s policies and approach, you are in the wrong country.
Joe,
You do side with Iran when you justify their reaction, which, by the way, is an inaccurate assumption.
Peace is a fragile thing that needs constant vigilance. When the Peace Fails, War Begins. I've had two sons already over in the middle east, and a third currently serving.
The only way to keep that Peace, is by staying strong. My sons were willing to sacrifice, in order that we as a nation, stay strong. We are not strong, because we've been confused. We've lost our way, because we've been lead astray. Iran cannot humiliate the United States, only weak minded Americans can do that. As for me and my sons, we'll remain strong. Peace through strength is what Reagan said, and I agree. But I'll add this... "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me"
These sons of Hagar can not harm me. The demise of these United States is coming quickly, because the people have lost sight of who in God's Name, we were. We were put here for his namesake.
Joe, you state “the current Iran situation was manufactured by the administration”. Is that not a statement of defense...of Iran? The Obama/Kerry debacle was so bad it was not worth trying to redo. It was much better to tear it up and start over. Don’t mistake weakness for greatness. Iran does not abide by agreements. Trump got a crisis dumped into his lap. You will put on 2020 Trump glasses and orange hair when the Master solves this. MAGA!
Who can blame them for wanting to protect themselves from a psychotic sociopath like trump. When are you dumb ass trump lickers going to get it? The US has no right to tell other countries what to do.
You would all be having hissy fit if the Iranians told you can't guzzle Coors Light, burp, fart and procreate with fat ass, white trash women.
DO, you are a rude vulgar low intellect punk. You are the laughingstock of the TN community. Keep it up. You are free entertainment. It is time for you to be thrown off of this site again. Bye, bye!
I figured you would smoke out DO Rambo. Theses guys hate Trump so much their heads are ready to blow. I can’t wait until he gets re-elected. The Dems are just destroying themselves with their nonsense. And Joe about the Kenya thing he was born in there Donald Trump proved that!!!! Obumer should’ve never been president & allowed to ruin our country for the next 3 generations. A community organizer becomes president after 2 years as a senator. What a joke. He put us in so much debt we may never come out of it. The democratic party that was 20 years ago is no more. They have become way to partision and way to radical.
That is factually incorrect. Obama’s Birth Certificate was lost somehow. Replacement Paperwork was released. Unfortunately, the lady in charge of making the paperwork was killed in an airplane crash soon after the paperwork was released. Right on 88. Trump is right. America is Great! MAGA!
The original birth certificate was released in April of 2011, and had signatures by the physician and his mother. Given that Obama’s mother had died long before you birthers came about, it would have been a little difficult to make a “replacement”. The director of health of Hawaii died following a plane crash in dec 2013, not “shortly thereafter”.
Come on Joe. April 2011 to December 2013 is “shortly thereafter.” Are you one of those pig-headed people that likes to argue every trivial point for the sake of argument? Obama’s mother’s signature could have been forged. Joe, don’t make the mistake of being arrogant. A big mouth won’t help you in any Doctoral Program that I know of. You would be better off reviewing information that you deny the existence of. You, Joe, show tremendous gaps in knowledge and understanding. Of course that is your schtick, tenacious defense of half baked information, and, relentless offense against things that have already been solved.Please keep it up. I hope your Trump Derangement Syndrome does not take away your study time for your Doctorate Degree. That would be funny, Trump would then be to blame for interfering with your education.
Shortly thereafter is not almost three years later. Is your point that Obama had her killed? Keep her quiet about forging the BC? Why didn’t Obama press the button on her sooner than 2.5+ years later?
Please don’t put words into my mouth Joe. Your conjecture is interesting, however. I don’t think Obama had her killed. She was in a float plane accident upon landing as I recall. If you think Obama had her killed (I don’t) the “shortly thereafter” time of 2.5 years might have been because of Obama’s incompetence. Maybe it took him that long. I don’t think he did that. I don’t mean to put words in your mouth. Is this what you meant?
Please, there was no reason to bring up her death other than to suggest her forgery and death were related. How come you didn’t mention her birth date? Or Favorite color?
I didn’t suggest any such thing Joe. God Bless the lady. You raised the “birther issue” in the first place, right? That is history, focus on your gaps of knowledge instead. You would be better suited for an advanced degree program if you are able to concentrate on pertinent information. You will fail if you refuse to look at knowledge that you don’t like to see.
I did not Joe. What is “birther narrative” anyway? You are funny today. On one page you actually want President Trump to extend the sentence indefinitely of a terrorist (pro American stance) and here you falsely accuse me of crazy stuff. Meyers will fall off his chair when he sees you supporting a patriotic American stance. Wow! I knew you would come around...half way.
No I didn’t want the trump administration to take 3 years off of Lindh’s sentence, as the barr justice department did. We need answers
NEWSFLASH : Joe sides with America. He didn’t want Terrorist Lindh released early from jail. Wow! Of course it is still Trumps fault...and AG Barr.
And you agreed with me until Trump told a half-truth on tv about not being able to do something about it. Sure he can't stop the early release after it was in motion but the administration made the decision to release in the first place.

Oh well, his sentence was going to end "soon after" anyway
Come on Joe, the verbiage is “shortly thereafter”. How would you even know if Trump told a half truth? You can’t even see through the hate. Keep it up. America is great! MAGA! Do you own a business Joe, that you could give Lindh a job? You would be the first one b*itching if the Administration pulled some “act” to keep Lindh in jail. Come on Joe. In 2020 you will wear orange hair to celebrate Trump’s Re-election. MAGA!
Come on Joe. If evil Trump gave a confirmed early release date due to good behavior that becomes the “new-official” release date. The guy would be expecting to get out.If then, evil Trump keeps him in jail, that effectively extends his sentence. You are doing a disservice to America for being so petty and obstinate. Maybe Barr was distracted with the Hoax Hearings and didn’t see the paperwork. Is this crazy or what?
You don’t get it, early release for a traitor should never have been on the table. Why did Barr (and maybe even trump) think releasing this guy early was a good idea?
Maybe Pelosi, Schumer, Amash, Nadler, Schiff and some of your other friends got Lindh out early Joe. Maybe they needed an Arab translator at the Capital.
Come on Joe. For a self proclaimed genius you are remarkably slow to catch on to basic concepts. For Christ’s sake you should focus to a higher level. Maybe you should get assessed. You argue over minuscule points yet you aren’t even aware of major sections of knowledge. Oddly enough, those major sections always lay opposite to your beliefs. Isn’t that a bit odd? You seemingly overlook information that would set you free. Doesn’t knowledge and truth set you free? You repeatedly refuse to look at info that would answer your questions. This is peculiar. I am a voracious reader and researcher that goes to no end to collect data. I find it strange that your enthusiasm wanes whenever you approach info you don’t want to hear. You refuse to hear info, now, several times over. This is curious. You have Trump Derangement Syndrome. Hate is blocking your mind. You have been unwilling to change. How can you change (get smarter) if you refuse to learn?
Who made the decision in the trump administration to free Lindh early? Spann’s family wants to know. It appears you care more about protecting trump from criticism than the blood of our fallen.
I have always, in my heart, trusted that the first Kenyan born POTUS, was in fact, born in Kenya.
His mom was... well... different. His grandparents (mom's parents), were communists. He wasn't brought up singing...

"My country, 'tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing;

Our fathers' God to Thee,
Author of liberty,
To Thee we sing.
Long may our land be bright,
With freedom's holy light,
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God our King.
Nope!

The Kenyan and Kaptain Ketchup (KKK) limited these sons of Hagar to only a 300 kT warhead?
Heck, within a millionth of a second, it will set off 300 trillion calories of energy. The surrounding air would super heat in to a yuge and expanding fireball.
That fireball would extend more than a mile in diameter and at its center produce intense heat beyond measure perhaps. All said and done, flammable materials and dispersing burning objects from the epicenter, would scatter for perhaps 500 miles.
Sounds like a reasonable boundary, for such loving and civilized folks. To get them closer to that edge of limit, send them some pallets of cash. Thank you KKK (sarc off)

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