Netanyahu says not surprised by Iran's enrichment intentions

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a memorial service for the Altalena Affair at the Nachalat Yitzhak cemetery in Tel Aviv

Iran is to inform the United Nations' nuclear agency that it is beginning the process of increasing its capacity to enrich uranium on Tuesday.

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Monday warned European leaders to drop their "dream" of Tehran continuing to curb its nuclear programme despite renewed economic sanctions.

But she also urged the UN's nuclear watchdog the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to carefully examine recent material submitted by Israel, allegedly on Iran's secret program.

"Iran will announce that the process of increasing the capacity to produce".

"The leader (Khamenei) meant that we should accelerate some process linked to our nuclear work capacity to move forward faster in case needed", Mr Kamalvandi said.

Kamalvandi reportedly added that Iran had a capacity to accelerate production of centrifuges for the uranium enrichment.

This is a clear signal from Tehran that it is not simply a bystander and that if the nuclear deal collapses it has options, too.

More than one million asylum seekers, with Syrians making up the biggest group, arrived in Germany since 2015, creating deep new political divisions in the country and shrinking Merkel's ruling majority in her fourth term.

For all of Iran's fierce public riposte to US threats of tougher sanctions, some senior Iranian officials see the USA position as a "bargaining strategy" and believe the door to a diplomatic compromise should stay open.

Uranium must be enriched to around 90 percent for use in nuclear weapons.

Germany, France and Britain are three of the signatories of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between world powers and Iran, aimed at keeping Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

The Iran deal paved the way for the partial lifting of global sanctions against the country, in exchange for Tehran curbing its nuclear programme for several years.

The Obama-era deal was undermined by President Donald Trump's withdrawal from it at the start of May.

The Twitter spat comes just hours after Khamenei revealed on Monday that Western demands for limits on Iran's ballistic missile programme are a "dream that will never come true". She said, "We believe that the JCPOA is an opportunity for a certain time, of course, to keep Iran's activities under control and to prevent a nuclearised Iran".

Under the deal, the Islamic Republic curbed its disputed nuclear energy programe and in return won a lifting of most worldwide sanctions that had hobbled its economy.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks during Friday prayers in Tehran September 14, 2007. He also said Iran could no longer have any dealings with the US.

"The Islamic Republic can not deal with a government that easily violates an worldwide treaty, withdraws its signature and in a theatrical show brags about its withdrawal on television", he said.

The European powers argue it is the best way to head off a regional arms race and have vowed with Russian Federation and China, the two other signatory countries, to keep it alive. The majority of the board's members are likely to issue statements through the week challenging the United States decision to withdraw, and the repeated Israeli intelligence claim that Iran is secretly preparing a nuclear bomb.

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