Iran steps up its uranium enrichment

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani revealed this morning that the Islamic Republic has increased uranium enrichment to higher levels than what preceded its ratification of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement.

In a televised speech on state television, the Iranian leader proclaimed that despite increased pressure on his nation, its atomic development program “continues to progress.”

Regarding a further escalation of the Ayatollah Regime’s dispute with the West, President Rouhani noted that his “government is working daily to prevent a military confrontation or war.” And while dialogue between Tehran and the international community has become increasingly strained, he insisted that diplomacy remains a viable avenue to resolve outstanding differences.

Meanwhile Iranian Foreign Minister Muhammad Javad mocked the E3, which consists of France, Britain and Germany, for triggering a dispute mechanism under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action; claiming it was U.S. bullying, and not Iranian non-compliance, that brought about the European decision.

The Islamic Republic’s top diplomat, who is currently on a visit to India, maintained the Ayatollah regime’s innocence. He laid the blame for Tehran’s decision to abandon the nuclear agreement on Europe and the United States arguing that “The nuclear deal, the JCPOA Was written with full knowledge of the fact that it might be violated by various parties, that is why we put in mechanisms in order to make sure that if one party or several parties violated the deal, we could take measures in order to keep it alive. Iran took those measures some time ago in May of 2018 and those measures are working. Now, the Europeans have decided in order to hide their inability to perform to take those measures, I don’t think they have any standing in JCPOA to do that.”

Meanwhile Jordan’s King Abdullah II warned the European Union’s parliament in Strasbourg that allowing heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran to persist could lead to “untold chaos” across the Middle East.

The Hashemite monarch also voiced alarm over the consequences of a wider regional war, which according to him, could trigger a resurgence of Islamic terrorism. He said: “What if, next time, neither side steps away from the brink, dragging us all towards untold chaos? An all-out war jeopardizes the stability of the entire region. Much more, it risks massive disruptions of the entire global economy including markets, but threatens a resurgence of terrorism across the world.”

The king of Jordan also touched on the growing crisis in Libya, asking “what if Libya collapses into an all-out war and ultimately a failed state? What if Libya is the new Syria, just much closer to the continent you all call home?”

It is important to explained that Libya, which has been plagued with deadly turmoil since the toppling of its longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi, has had two rival governments since 2014. While the eastern-based Libyan National Army, under its commander Khalifa Haftar, has received backing from the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Egypt, and Russia, the Western-based government – which was officially recognized by the United Nations – is backed by Turkey.  The Libyan situation holds high economic stakes for both regional and global powers, raising concerns regarding the local tribal wars ultimately escalating into a wider conflict, that would inevitably also impact Israel and its vast off-shore gas reservoirs.