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story.lead_photo.caption A fishing boat speeds past an oil tanker in the distance in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, Saturday, June 15, 2019. The Kokuka Courageous, one of two oil tankers targeted in an apparent attack in the Gulf of Oman, was brought to the United Arab Emirates' eastern coast Saturday. (AP Photo/Jon Gambrell)

TEHRAN, Iran — The Latest on developments in the Persian Gulf region amid rising tensions between Iran and the U.S. (all times local):

7:20 p.m.

The European Union says it will wait for scientific reports on Iran's compliance with a nuclear deal negotiated with world powers before announcing its response.

The EU's foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said Monday she would not speculate what would happen if Tehran veers away from the terms of the global deal meant to keep Iran from developing nuclear arms.

Mogherini said that "so far, Iran has been compliant with its nuclear commitment as we had expected it to be," and insisted she would await the next report from the International Atomic Energy Agency on the issue.

Iran earlier said it will break the uranium stockpile limit set by the nuclear deal with world powers in the next 10 days.

5:20 p.m.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the international community should reinstate sanctions if Iran follows through on its threats to step up uranium enrichment.

Speaking at a government ceremony Monday, Netanyahu called for the immediate imposition of "snapback sanctions" if Iran breaks the stockpile limits set in the 2015 nuclear deal.

He added: "In any case, Israel will not allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons."

An Iranian official said earlier that Iran will break the limit in the next 10 days. He also warned that Iran could enrich uranium at higher 20% levels — just a step away from weapons-grade quality.

Netanyahu says Israel is part of a united front against Iran, with the U.S. and several Arab countries.

In recent weeks tensions between United States and Iran have soared.

4:10 p.m.

A U.S. senator says Iran's decision to break its uranium stockpile limit under the 2015 nuclear deal puts his country in a bind.

Senator Patrick Leahy, a Democrat and vocal opponent of President Donald Trump, said on Monday that Trump's decision to pull out of the 2015 accord curbing Iran's nuclear powers was "foolish."

Iran announced on Monday it would break the uranium stockpile limit set by the nuclear deal by Iran and world powers in the next 10 days.

Leahy says that it's "harder for us to say much now when we were foolish enough to pull out of the agreement." He spoke to The Associated Press at the Paris Air Show.

The nuclear deal steadily has unraveled since the Trump administration pulled America out of the accord last year and re-imposed tough economic sanctions on Iran.

3 p.m.

Editorials in English-language newspapers in the United Arab Emirates are urging calm and diplomacy after a further spike in tensions following last week's attack on oil tankers near the Persian Gulf.

Abu Dhabi's The National says a diplomatic resolution with Iran is still possible, and while it quoted neighboring Saudi Arabia's crown prince as saying that Iran was behind the first attacks on oil tankers in the region last month, the editorial said investigations were still ongoing and "their source is yet to be confirmed."

It says the UAE has been calling for de-escalation and believes "diplomacy must always come first."

Dubai's Gulf News similarly stressed that "all the major players, including Iran, do not want war."

It says that "because of skyrocketing tensions, it is incumbent that all parties exercise caution and restraint going forward."

2:50 p.m.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is warning that there's a limited time to save the country's nuclear deal with world powers.

Rouhani made the comment on Monday while meeting the new French ambassador to Tehran, Philippe Thiebaud.

Rouhani's website quoted him as saying that the destruction of the deal was not in anyone's interests.

Rouhani says: "The current situation is very critical and France and the other parties to the (deal) still have a very limited opportunity to play their historic role for saving the deal."

He added: "There is no doubt that the collapse of the (accord) will not be beneficial for Iran, France, the region and the world."

1:45 p.m.

European Union foreign ministers are still looking for more information on who might be behind the attacks on two oil tankers traveling near the Strait of Hormuz and called for utmost restraint.

At Monday's meeting of EU foreign ministers, Germany and others insisted they need a clearer picture before wading into a diplomatic conflict which could have serious implications in the Middle East.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that U.S. and British intelligence needs to be compared with other information from allies. "We have to be very careful," he said.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said it was not a time to jump to action without proper information. "The maximum restraint and wisdom should be applied," she said ahead of the monthly foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg.

1:40 p.m.

Germany's foreign minister says his country hasn't made up its mind yet about who was behind the alleged attacks on oil shipping in the Gulf of Oman.

Heiko Maas told reporters on Monday that Germany is still in the process of collecting information and the evidence provided so far "comes from one side in particular."

The United States has released what it claims is evidence that Iran was behind two alleged attacks on oil tankers last week near the Strait of Hormuz.

Speaking ahead of a meeting of top European Union diplomats in Luxembourg at which a common stance will be debated, Maas said that "with a decision of this kind the utmost care is required and we'll take our time for this."

Iran has denied being involved in the attacks.

1:10 p.m.

A spokesman for Iran's nuclear program says the country has a need for uranium enriched up to 20%, only a step away from weapon-grade levels.

Behrouz Kamalvandi made the comment in a news conference carried on live television Monday.

Kamalvandi said Iran's needs 5% enrichment for its nuclear power plant in southern Iranian port of Bushehr and it needs 20% enrichment for a Tehran research reactor.

When uranium is mined, it typically has about 140 atoms of this unwanted isotope for every atom of U-235. Refining it to a purity of 3.67%, the level now allowed by the nuclear deal, means removing 114 unwanted atoms of U-238 for every atom of U-235.

Boosting its purity to 20% means removing 22 more unwanted isotopes per atom of U-235, while going from there to 90% purity means removing just four more per atom of U-235, he noted. Ninety percent is considered weapons-grade material.

That means going from 20% to 90% is a relatively quicker process, something that worries nuclear nonproliferation experts.

12:55 p.m.

A spokesman for Iran's nuclear agency says Tehran will increase uranium enrichment levels "based on the country's needs."

Behrouz Kamalvandi made the comment in a news conference carried live on state television on Monday.

He says that increase could be to any level, from 3.67% which is the current limit set by the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

Kamalvandi spoke to local journalists at Iran's Arak heavy water facility.

His comments come amid heightened tensions between Iran and the U.S., a year after President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America for the nuclear deal.

Kamalvandi acknowledged that the country already quadrupled its production of low-enriched uranium.

12:45 p.m.

A spokesman for Iran's atomic agency says the country will break the uranium stockpile limit set by Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers in the next 10 days.

Behrouz Kamalvandi made the comment in a news conference carried live on Iranian state television on Monday.

He spoke to local journalists at Iran's Arak heavy water facility.

His comments come in the wake of suspected attacks on oil tankers last week in the region that Washington has blamed on Iran and amid heightened tensions between Iran and the U.S., a year after President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America for the nuclear deal.

Kamalvandi acknowledged that the country already quadrupled its production of low-enriched uranium.


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Archived Comments

  • Illinoisroy
    June 17, 2019 at 8:34 a.m.

    Don't get USA drawn into a religious war.

  • GeneralMac
    June 17, 2019 at 9:24 a.m.

    I thought after the last election Netanyahu has no power.

    I have to quit believing what RBear posts.

  • UoABarefootPhdFICYMCA
    June 17, 2019 at 10:28 a.m.

    i dont know a mr. meetenyahooo.
    i support jewish anti-zionism
    i know benny isnt a religious guy.
    he's actually a atheist and a racist.
    it's really weird because, i read the old testament alot as a kid sometimes still.
    Golan heights were never israel or judah.
    how much longer do we keep lying.
    some talk of reputation....

  • UoABarefootPhdFICYMCA
    June 17, 2019 at 10:33 a.m.

    maybe it was under mannessa, but we are talking about a confederation.
    This is like the u.s.a. corp, if u.s.a. corp was a racist religious enterprise.

  • lfordg4316yahoocom
    June 17, 2019 at 11:49 a.m.

    We don't need to be pulled into another Middle East war like before. We have enough problems without even considering war.

  • mrcharles
    June 17, 2019 at 1:57 p.m.

    UOA, that there OT, doesnt always jive, but in its defense no different than NT cant get it straight stuff. The bragging by the ancient kings of that weird sect of copying off various aspects of neighbors was often like DT, not of a truthful manner that they came up with their mystery.

    mannessa reigned for a long time , some say cause he brought back the worship of baal and his asherah. Many a site in that there holy land has an asherah in their dwellings, all which dispels the worship only of yahweh. He got a bad wrap but he did rule them there future nobel prize winners for a long time.

    Hey, nice, very nice, I would remind all that that there iran guy , Cyrus was considered an anointed one , for doing good stuff for those people that Saul of Paul bad mouthed. Yes it doenst make sense, but as tony soprano says, Whatcha goniin do?

    UOA , got to keep Israel around as how else can they bend a knew, to which the rabbi has a retort, are you mental, we need to survive to be able to be grabbed hold of for our knowledge . funny, that OT stuff , if not misunderstood, or having text altered or ignored, seems to support the OT issues about the anointed one, not pots or pans, or cyrus, but the one who has yet to come.

    A hard thing to understand is why other countries have the audacity to question what we say. After all our dear leader , confirmed by Sarah the Tasmanian devil spinner and franklin "hey my daddy told nixon about the jews in america" graham. How are you going to take issue with either mammal.

    I think I saw the 12th inman at park plaza the other day.

  • SeanJohn
    June 17, 2019 at 5:34 p.m.

    MRC, you forgot to mention Putin.

  • RBear
    June 17, 2019 at 5:50 p.m.

    Fake until the next election, Netanyahu is still the PM. However, he could not form a coalition government so there will be new elections. Did you miss that fact? Sheesh, you are such an idiot. Why do you even try to show intelligence? I figured that after spending all that time in the trailer, you'd at least learn something.

  • wowy
    June 17, 2019 at 7:32 p.m.

    Nuke them, they are a gaybolt on the brear of the world.

  • UoABarefootPhdFICYMCA
    June 17, 2019 at 9:27 p.m.