Hassan Rouhani
Hassan Rouhani

Tehran: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday announced that his country will further reduce its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal by abandoning restrictions on nuclear research and development and will develop centrifuges for faster enrichment of uranium.

Making the announcement in a televised address, Rouhani said that the move will come into effect on Friday, The Washington Post reported. The Iranian President said that the country's Atomic Energy Organisation will "immediately start research and development on whatever technical needs the country has and will set aside all the commitments stipulated" under the agreement.

"We will witness research and development on different kinds of centrifuges...and whatever is needed for enriching uranium at a faster pace," Rouhani said. He also said that the activities will be supervised by the UN nuclear watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency.

Rouhani also gave a fresh 60-day deadline for the European countries to rescue the deal. Iran has earlier pledged to reduce its commitments under the deal every 60 days until the European powers kept their promise of providing Tehran with relief from US sanctions.

The pact was signed between Iran and five other countries -- the US, the UK, Russia, China and Germany -- along with the European Union with an aim to limit Iran's civilian energy programme, thereby preventing it from developing nuclear weapons at some point in the future, in exchange for relief from sanctions that were crippling the country's economy.

Iran's announcement came a day after the US slapped fresh sanctions on Tehran's space agency, accusing it of disguising a ballistic missile programme. Tehran and Washington have been in a vehement disagreement since May last year when US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear deal and began re-imposing a multitude of sanctions. Rouhani on Tuesday had ruled holding any bilateral talks with the US, saying his country is strictly against any such negotiations in principle.

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