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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Iran said on Sunday that it plans further roll back its commitments to a 2015 nuclear deal signed with global powers but would continue to cooperate with the UN nuclear watchdog, the IAEA.
The country's state television cited a government statement as saying Iran would not respect any limits set down in the pact on the number of uranium enrichment centrifuges it could use.
This means that there would be no limits on Iran’s enrichment capacity, the level to which uranium could be enriched, or its nuclear research and development. These would from now on be based on Iran's technical needs.
However, the report said Tehran’s rolling back of its nuclear commitments could be reversible if the US lifts its sanctions.
Iran has previously violated the terms of the 2015 deal enacted to limit its nuclear capacity. It says it is a response to renewed US sanctions on the country.
The move comes after Qasseum Soleimani, the head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' foreign operations branch, the Quds Force, was killed in a US rocket strike at Baghdad International Airport on Friday.
The head of the Tehran-backed militia Kataib Hezbollah, Abu Mahdi Al Muhandis, was also killed in the strike – ordered by US President Donald Trump.
Separately, The Associated Press reported that there were several air strikes that targeted Iraqi militias north of Baghdad on Friday. The US has, however, denied responsibility for those attacks.
The deaths of the two generals have brought tensions between Tehran and Washington to new heights. Iran has said it will respond to the US air strikes with “harsh revenge”. Already, several rockets launched in Baghdad late on Saturday fell inside or near the Green Zones, which houses government offices and foreign offices, including the US embassy.
Some 5,000 US troops remain in Iraq, most in an advisory role. But earlier on Sunday, Iraq’s parliament voted in favour of the expulsion of foreign troops from the country.
After speaking with French President Emmanuel Macron, Germany chancellor Angela Merkel and the Mr Trump on Sunday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Sunday that Qassem Suleimani had a destabilising effect on the Middle East – but he warned threats of reprisals would only lead to more violence.
“General Qassem Suleimani posed a threat to all our interests and was responsible for a pattern of disruptive, destabilising behaviour in the region,” Mr Johnson said in a statement.
“Given the leading role he has played in actions that have led to the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians and western personnel, we will not lament his death.
“It is clear however that all calls for retaliation or reprisals will simply lead to more violence in the region and they are in no one’s interest.”
Updated: January 5, 2020 11:15 PM
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