Iran is standing firm on its decision to increase uranium enrichment and even violate the limits set under the 2015 nuclear accord.

The country says it is trying to achieve its full rights to an economic relationship with the EU and tackle the United States, which abandoned the deal in 2018.

On Sunday, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency, Tehran had announced that it would abandon the 3.67% limit for uranium enrichment as it scales back its commitments in response to US sanctions reimposed by the US President Donald Trump. Iran would take more steps to scale back compliance over 60 days, unless the European parties ensured that it will continue to trade its oil.

Europe, one of the members of the 2015 nuclear agreement (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA), which was brought about to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions in return for relief from sanctions, is disturbed by recent revelations that Iran is not following the key restrictions outlined in the deal. Iran had said that if no progress is made on easing sanctions, the country’s uranium enrichment programme will be stepped up. Iran’s deputy foreign minister for political affairs Seyyed Abbas Araghchi criticized the US, saying that Washington has violated the deal and the UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

A senior security official and representative of Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Shamkhani in a meeting with a top French diplomat Emmanuel Bonne, said Tehran is within the limits of the JCPOA because Iran was entitled to downgrade its commitments if the other side failed to meet their own. According to the Guardian, Shamkhani insisted Iran would resist US pressure.

“Iran has in practice proved that in economic, political and defence dimensions it has the ability and capacity to manage and deal with various tensions and challenges. You cannot speak the language of force,” he said.

Iran’s ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Kazem Gharib Abadi said that inspectors from the Agency are monitoring Tehran’s nuclear activities. After the Agency’s meeting in Vienna, he said Iran has nothing to hide.

Iran flag A former U.S. air force intelligence officer was charged for spying for Iran's Revolutionary Guard forces. This is a representational image showing a protester gesturing under a flag of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) during a demonstration in Brussels, Jan. 3, 2018. Photo: Getty Images/Emmanuel Dunand