Blinken calls Iran's uranium enrichment move 'provocative'

Blinken calls Iran's uranium enrichment move 'provocative'

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday called Iran’s announcement of an intent to begin enriching uranium at 60% purity "provocative," saying the step raised questions about the seriousness of Tehran over the nuclear talks in Vienna.

"We take very seriously its provocative announcement of an intent to begin enriching uranium at 60%," Blinken told a news conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels, referring to Iran.

"I have to tell you the step calls into question Iran’s seriousness with regard the nuclear talks, just as it underscores the imperative of returning to mutual compliance with the JCPOA," Reuters cited Blinken as saying.

Iran has said it will enrich uranium to 60% - a big step closer to the 90% that is weapons-grade from the 20% maximum it has reached so far - in response to what it says was an act of sabotage by Israel against its key nuclear facility.

The European countries party to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal also told Tehran that the step was contrary to efforts to revive the accord.

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