Iran seeks boosting uranium enrichment within nuclear deal limits

Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani

But she also urged the UN's nuclear watchdog the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to carefully examine recent material submitted by Israel, allegedly on Iran's secret program.

The three European states are now scrambling to save the deal - under which Iran promised to curb its nuclear program in return for lifted sanctions - seeing it as the best chance to stop Tehran developing a nuclear bomb.

One of Trump's demands - which European allies support in principle - is new negotiations to rein in Iran's ballistic missile program, which was not covered by the nuclear deal.

The German leader reaffirmed her commitment to the deal, "although we have disagreements about the effectiveness of the agreement", she made it apparent that Berlin wishes to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Tehran has been able to bankroll a growing military presence in countries like Syria and Yemen because sanctions had been lifted in exchange for its halt in nuclear enrichment activities, Netanyahu argued.

Iran wants to "basically conduct a religious campaign in largely Sunni Syria but try to convert Sunnis", he said at a joint press conference with Merkel.

After the USA withdrawal on May 12, Iran said it would remain in the nuclear deal only if were protected from renewed US sanctions on key sectors of its economy such as oil, in cooperation with other signatories of the pact.

Tensions between Washington and Tehran were reignited after Trump pulled the United States out of the controversial Iran nuke deal, which he claimed would not stop the country from developing deadly warheads.

China: Trade deals in jeopardy if United States tariffs are implemented
"I want to be clear, this isn't just about [China] buying more goods, this is about structural changes", Mnuchin said . But others, including US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, are known to take a more hawkish stance.

Yisrael Katz's spoke out after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu began visiting European leaders to discuss Iran's regional involvement and nuclear programme, both seen by the Jewish state as grave threats.

Merkel insisted that the Europeans and Israel were "united by the goal that Iran must never get a nuclear weapon" but acknowledged deep differences with Netanyahu on "how we can best achieve this".

In his speech marking the 29th anniversary of the death of Iranian revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Khamenei insisted on resisting USA pressure and again warned of a harsh response if Iran came under attack.

Speaking to media on Tuesday, Israeli Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz claimed that Iran had once been running an "unsupervised" enrichment scheme with the potential of arming the country with nuclear weapons.

"We are not in agreement on all questions, but we are friends, we are partners", Merkel said of Netanyahu.

Mr Netanyahu is to meet Emmanuel Macron, France's president, in Paris, later today and Theresa May tomorrow.

Netanyahu suggested the deal was bound to collapse without American involvement, but said he agreed with Merkel that "Iran's aggressions" needed to be kept in check.

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