With the assassination of the Iranian Maj. General Qassim Soleimani, the Iranian government says it will no longer honor the 2015 nuclear deal and noted it will stop limiting its enrichment of uranium, The New York Times reports.
The news broke after the INSC held an emergency meeting Sunday to discuss the country’s nuclear policy following Soleimani’s assassination. In a statement the government announced:
“The Islamic Republic of Iran will end its final limitations in the nuclear deal, meaning the limitation in the number of centrifuges. Therefore, Iran’s nuclear program will have no limitations in production including enrichment capacity and percentage and number of enriched uranium and research and expansion.”
When the Trump administration withdrew the U.S. from the historic agreement, Iran’s government began edging away from the terms specified in the deal. The administration has also imposed steep sanctions aimed at damaging the country’s economy. Many of those sanctions were halted by the agreement after Iran agreed to only use its nuclear power for peaceful purposes. In the balance, European allies that also participated in the agreement, including the UK, France, and Germany, sought to preserve the deal as tensions between the U.S. and Tehran continued to simmer.
While Iranian officials say they intend to continue cooperating with the International Atomic Agency, they also said the country will return to the nuclear deal if the sanctions against it are removed and if Iran’s interests are observed.
Soleimani was killed on Iraqi soil, as was Abu Mahdi-Muhandis, who was the deputy head of the Iraqi popular mobilization forces, a coalition of militias backed by Iran. In the aftermath, Iraqi legislators voted 170-0 Sunday to expel American troops from the country but that bill won’t be final until it is signed by Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi.
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