Iran has begun using arrays of advanced centrifuges to enrich uranium in violation of its 2015 nuclear deal, a spokesman said Saturday, warning that Europe has little time left to offer new terms to save the accord. The comments by Behrouz Kamalvandi of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran signal a further cut into the one year experts estimate Tehran would need to have a enough material for building a nuclear weapon if it chose to pursue one. Iran maintains its program is peaceful. Iran already has breached the stockpile and enrichment level limits set by the deal, while stressing it could quickly revert back to the terms of the accord if Europe finds a way for it to sell its crude oil abroad despite crushing U.S. sanctions. However, questions likely will grow in Europe over Iran’s intentions as satellite photos obtained by The Associated Press on Saturday showed an once-detained oil tanker Tehran reportedly promised wouldn’t go to Syria was off its coast. Tensions between Iran and the U.S. have risen in recent months, with mysterious attacks on oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz, Iran shooting down a U.S. military surveillance drone, and other incidents across the wider Middle East. Iran separately seized another ship and detained 12 Filipino crewmembers, a semi-official news agency reported Saturday. “Our stockpile is quickly increasing,” Kamalvandi warned in a news conference. “We hope they will come to their senses.” The accord saw Iran limits its enrichment of uranium in exchange for sanctions
“When the American drone was shot down, the US president came close to [carrying out] a decision [to strike Iran] but the US army shed light on the calculations and in a meeting [with Trump] they gave the US president an estimate of what would happen in the Strait of Hormuz, the Persian Gulf … and countries that act as an arm of the resistance front as well as in [the Persian Gulf] islands … in case of an attack against Iran,” Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri said.
The Adrian Darya’s detention and later release by Gibraltar have added fuel to the growing tensions between Washington and Tehran, after Trump unilaterally withdrew America from Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers over a year ago over concerns about Iran’s ballistic missile program and regional influence.
Iran has unveiled a state-of-the-art missile defense system designed and manufactured by experts at home as the Islamic Republic marks National Defense Industry Day. The surface-to-air missile system, dubbed Bavar-373, was unveiled during a ceremony on Thursday morning in the presence of President Hassan Rouhani, Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami and other senior military officials. Bavar-373 is a mobile missile defense system designed to intercept and destroy incoming hostile targets. The system employs missiles that have a maximum range of 300 kilometers. The system is capable of simultaneously detecting up to 300 targets, tracking 60 targets at once and engaging six targets at a time. According to the Iranian defense chief, “With this long-range air defense system, we can detect … targets or planes at more than 300 km, lock it at about 250 km, and destroy it at 200 km.” The system is a competitor to Russia’s S-300 missile system and brings quite a few substantial upgrades over its Russian equivalent. The system — which is compatible with the Sayyad family of missiles — is also equipped with four vertical launching systems (VLS) capable of hot launching missiles. Bavar 373 has two search and intercept radars, which can resist electronic warfare and electromagnetic bombs. In addition, the radars are capable of detecting anti-radiation missiles (ARM) that are used to confront air defenses. ‘US pressure only made Iran stronger’ Addressing the event, President Rouhani hailed Iran’s significant achievements in the defense industry, adding that the US’s pressure campaign against