FILE - In this April 9, 2018, file photo, released by an official website of the office of the Iranian Presidency, President Hassan Rouhani listens to explanations on new nuclear achievements at a ceremony to mark "National Nuclear Day," in Tehran, Iran. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif acknowledged Monday, July 1, 2019, Iran had broken the limit set on its stockpile of low-enriched uranium by the 2015 nuclear deal, marking its first major departure from the unraveling agreement a year after the U.S. unilaterally withdrew from the accord. (Iranian Presidency Office via AP)

The Latest: Iran set to break enrichment level within hours

July 07, 2019 - 12:09 am

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — The Latest on U.S.-Iran tensions (all times local):

11:35 a.m.

An Iranian nuclear official says Iran will within hours go beyond the level of uranium enrichment permitted under an unraveling 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

Under the deal, the cap for uranium enrichment was 3.67%.

The spokesman for Iran's nuclear department, Behrouz Kamalvandi, told a news conference Sunday that technical preparations for the new level of enrichment will be completed "within several hours and enrichment over 3.67% will begin."

He says monitoring will show the increased level by Monday morning.

Iran made the decision a year after President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the deal.

Iran has repeatedly warned Europe in recent weeks that it would begin walking away from the accord because of a maximalist American campaign of sanctions blocking Tehran's oil sales abroad and targeting its top officials.

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11:15 a.m.

Iran says it is raising its enrichment of uranium beyond the limit set by its unraveling 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

Government spokesman Ali Rabiei told a news conference Sunday that "today we will pass" the permitted enrichment level of 3.67%, but did not provide details.

The decision comes a year after President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the U.S. from the nuclear deal.

America since has imposed sanctions blocking Iranian crude oil from being sold on the world market.

In response, Iran on July 1 acknowledged breaking the deal's 300-kilogram (661-pound) limit on its low-enriched uranium stockpile.

Experts warn higher enrichment and a growing stockpile narrows the one-year window Iran would need to have enough material for an atomic bomb, something Iran denies it wants but the deal prevented.

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9:30 a.m.

Iran appears poised to raise its enrichment of uranium and break another limit from its faltering 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

Sunday marks the end of a deadline set by President Hassan Rouhani for Europe to find a way for Iran to get around American sanctions.

State TV reports officials are scheduled to hold a news conference Sunday to discuss their plans.

This comes a year after President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the U.S. from the nuclear deal.

America since has imposed sanctions blocking Iranian crude oil from being sold on the world market. The U.S. also sanctioned top officials in the Islamic Republic, including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

In response, Iran on July 1 acknowledged breaking the deal's 300-kilogram (661-pound) limit on its low-enriched uranium stockpile.