Iran has put pressure on the UK, France and Germany and made a military confrontation with the US more likely after announcing that it would suspend some of its commitments under the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal.
President Hassan Rouhani said Iran would keep its enriched uranium rather than sell it abroad, and warned the country could resume production in 60 days.
Donald Trump withdrew the US from the deal last year but the Russia, China and the three European powers chose to honour their commitments to Tehran, given that Tehran had honoured its own commitments to disband its nuclear programme.
Trump has since imposed stinging sanctions, causing the Iranian economy to crash, and this week sent an aircraft carrier to waters off the Iranian coast, citing unspecified regional treats posed by the Iranian regime.
Iran said it was reacting to Trump’s withdrawal and to “the failure of European countries to fulfil their obligations” in reference to promises to protect Iran’s oil and banking sectors from US sanctions.
The 2015 deal allows Iran to take such action if one party withdraws from the agreement.
Reacting to the news on Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “We will not allow Iran to achieve nuclear weaponry. We will continue to fight those who would kill us.”