June 17 (UPI) -- Iran announced Monday that it has accelerated the production of enriched uranium and will surpass a 300-kilogram stockpile within 10 days, a move that would violate the 2015 nuclear deal.
Such a move would put Iran significantly closer to bomb-grade uranium. Iran says it plans to increase enrichment levels to 20 percent. The internationally agreed upon level for Iran is 3.67 percent.
Iran has taken steps to go back on commitments to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in recent weeks, also increasing its production of heavy water in May. The moves are retaliation for the United States and allies hitting Tehran with sanctions that virtually eliminate crude oil exports.
Now, Iran plans to produce an unlimited amount of enriched uranium and may stop exporting surplus heavy water because it will have enough demand within Iran for it.
"We will have surpassed the 300-kilogram limit [on stockpile of uranium] within 10 days," said Atomic Energy Organization of Iran spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi.
Iranian media toured the heavy water nuclear facilities in Arak on Monday.
Kamalvandi said Iran would return to the previous commitments if European countries take "practical measures" to ensure Iranian interests. Tehran previously gave the European Union an ultimatum to help guard against U.S. sanctions. To that end, some in the EU want to keep the nuclear deal alive and are willing to create a special trade deal that circumvents some U.S. sanctions.
Kamalvandi said Monday the EU needs to "act, not talk."
The United States walked away from the nuclear deal a year ago as the Trump administration opted for sanctions rather than the deal put in place by the Obama administration.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said over the weekend the "United States is considering a full range of options" as Iran grows more defiant.
"We are confident that we can take a set of actions that can restore deterrence, which is our mission set," he said.