Iranian parliament approved a new law that would enhance uranium enrichment and stop UN inspection at its nuclear sites.
Under the law, ratified by Iran’s Guardian Council, Tehran would give two months for the European signatories of the 2015 nuclear agreement to work to ease sanctions on Iran’s oil and financial sectors imposed when the US abandoned the deal in 2018.
If the sanctions had not been eased by the deadline, the government would then increase uranium enrichment to 20% and install advanced centrifuges, which are used to enrich uranium, at its nuclear facilities at Natanz and Fordow.
It would also block UN inspectors from accessing these sites.
“Today in a letter, the parliament speaker officially asked the president to implement the new law,” Iran’s Fars news agency reported.
Before the law was ratified, President Rouhani said his government did not agree with the legislation, which he described as “damaging for diplomacy”.
US President Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 nuclear agreement in May 2018, and re-imposed strict economic sanctions against Tehran.
President-elect Joe Biden has said he would return the US to the agreement – negotiated under Barack Obama – and would lift sanctions if Tehran returned to “strict compliance with the nuclear deal”.
The proposal comes after the targeted killing of Iran’s top nuclear scientist.
Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was killed in a mysterious attack on a road outside the capital Tehran last Friday. Iran believes Israel and an exiled opposition group used a remote-control weapon to carry out the shooting.
Fakhrizadeh played a crucial role in Iran’s nuclear programme.