The United States calls Iran's plan to surpass the internationally agreed limit on its stock of low-enriched uranium "nuclear blackmail."
"President [Donald] Trump has made it clear that he will never allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons. The regime's nuclear blackmail must be met with increased international pressure," said White House National Security Council spokesperson Garrett Marquis.
At the State Department, senior officials urged the international community not to yield to the "nuclear extortion" by Iran. "We continue to call on the Iranian regime not to obtain a nuclear weapon, to abide by their commitments to the international community," said State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus on Monday during a briefing, adding that Iran's announcement is "unfortunate" but not surprising.
The U.S. government's comments followed Tehran's announcement Monday that the country would soon surpass the limit on the amount of enriched uranium it is allowed to keep under the 2015 international agreement aimed at restraining its nuclear weapons program.
French President Emmanuel Macron said he regretted the Iranian announcement, urging Tehran "to behave in a way that is patient and responsible." Britain said if Iran exceeded the nuclear limits, it would consider "all options."
In remarks to reporters carried on state television, agency spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said, "Today the countdown to pass the 300 kilograms reserve of enriched uranium has started and in 10 days time [June 27] ... we will pass this limit."
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