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Monday December 9th, 2019 8:36AM

The Latest: Reports: Iran now enriching above deal's limit

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

3:05 p.m.

Semi-official media in Iran is quoting the country's nuclear agency spokesman as saying Tehran is now enriching uranium to 4.5%.

The ISNA and Fars news agencies separately quoted Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran.

Kamalvandi told the agencies this decision met the needs that Iran has now.

This comes a day after Iran announced it would break the 3.67% limit imposed by its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

It earlier broke a limit put on its stockpile of low-enriched uranium.

Iran is asking Europe to come up with a way to help it sell its crude oil abroad and get around U.S. sanctions. However, Europe has yet to do so.

This comes amid heightened tensions between Iran and the U.S.

___

2:55 p.m.

A Kremlin spokesman says that Russia is concerned about growing tensions between Tehran and the U.S. over Iran's unraveling nuclear deal with world powers.

Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday that Russia is concerned by Iran's announcement it is raising its uranium enrichment levels, furthering its breach of the 2015 nuclear deal.

Peskov said that the Kremlin had warned that President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the U.S. from the deal a year ago would entail negative consequences to global security. He called on all parties to use diplomacy to overcome the crisis.

Iran has given the remaining signatories to the deal — which include Russia — 60 days to find a way around crippling U.S. sanctions, or it says it will take further steps away from the deal.

___

12:00 p.m.

Iran says the last chance for saving its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers will pass after a 60-day deadline.

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi told reporters Monday that Iran won't offer any further "deadlines" to save the deal by September.

The previous day, Iranian officials said the country would take further steps toward the "reduction" of its compliance with the accord after the deadline.

Iran has already breached the deal's limits on uranium enrichment and stockpiling.

Mousavi said Iran is still open to negotiations with its European partners and expressed the hope they would "take steps forward" toward implementing their commitments.

Iran is pressuring European partners to find a way around U.S. sanctions and deliver the deal's promised economic relief. The U.S. unilaterally withdrew a year ago.

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