Iran’s Revolutionary Guard stages massive exercise amid heightened tensions
Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard has staged a military exercise consisting of a five-day drill across the country’s south region amid heightened tensions over the government’s nuclear program, The Associated Press reported.
Maritime forces are also set to maneuver in the strategic Strait of Hormuz, the AP reported.
Saeed Khatibzadeh, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman, at a news conference gave a vague answer when asked by a reporter whether the country would enrich uranium to weapons-grade 90 percent purity.
“The level, amount and quality of enrichment are in line with the needs of Iran’s peaceful nuclear program,” Khatibzadeh said. “All these measures have been taken with the knowledge of the International Atomic Energy Agency and will continue to be so in the future.”
This comes amid talks to revive Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with other countries halted in Vienna as Iran continues to accelerate its nuclear advances and negotiations struggle to make headway, the AP reported.
Iran’s Kayhan newspaper recently published an editorial that argued the country should enrich uranium up to 90 percent and become a “world nuclear power” if negotiations in Vienna fail to grant the country sanctions relief.
Since former President Trump pulled out of the nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions against Iran, the country has upped its uranium production to 60 percent purity, a short step to 90 percent purity to make an atomic bomb, the AP noted.