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Iran Prepares to Boost Uranium Enrichment Capacity in Case Nuclear Deal Collapses

Tehran will inform the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog Tuesday that it is beginning preparations to increase its uranium enrichment capacity, an apparent warning to European nations to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal abandoned by President Trump. Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization announced the news Monday, shortly after President Hassan Rouhani ordered the country’s scientists to begin preparations to boost enrichment capabilities in case the nuclear accord falls apart completely. The accord limited Tehran to 3.67 percent uranium enrichment, though Iranian authorities have threatened to return to their previous level of 20 percent enrichment if European leaders are unable to save the nuclear deal. Rouhani’s orders came as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday began a three-day tour in Europe to persuade the leaders of Germany, France, and Britain to abandon the deal. European leaders have so far pledged to keep the deal afloat, but have expressed concerns about the country’s ballistic-missile program and regional influence.