Iran is not seeking to wage war against any nation, the country’s president has said. He also insisted that Iranians will withstand mounting US pressure.
The remarks by Iranian president Hassan Rouhani came after his country announced it was breaking compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. The US withdrew from this deal a year ago and then restored crippling sanctions on Iran. Donald Trump’s administration has also just ordered 1,000 more US troops to the Middle East.
“We do not wage war with any nation,” Mr Rouhani said, speaking during the inauguration of a new terminal at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport that will raise its capacity from eight million to 13 million passengers a year.
He added that, despite Trump’s withdrawal last year from the nuclear deal, Iran had for many months remained “loyal to its commitments, to… international agreements”.
But on Monday, amid increasing tensions with the US, Iran’s nuclear agency announced it will surpass the uranium stockpile limits set by the 2015 deal in the next 10 days, raising pressure on European leaders trying to save the accord a year after the US withdrawal.
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Rouhani had already warned Europe that a new deal needs to be in place by July 7 or Iran would increase its enrichment of uranium.
The developments indicate Iran has begun its own maximum pressure campaign after facing one from Trump that has deeply cut into its sale of crude oil abroad and sent its economy into freefall.
Europe has so far been unable to offer Iran a way around the US sanctions.
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