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Tensions Rise In Middle East As Iran Reportedly Increases Uranium Enrichment

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Iran started enriching uranium to 4.5%, an energy official said — an announcement that comes amid rising concerns of the country violating the 2015 nuclear deal.

Atomic Energy Organization of Iran spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi also hinted in a state TV interview that the country might try to enrich its supply of the element to 20% purity or more and restart previously deactivated IR-2 M centrifuges, which are used to purify uranium, in the coming months.

Experts say 20% purity could bring the country closer to reaching the 90% purity uranium needs to make a bomb, according to The Associated Press.

“At the moment, our enrichment is at around 4.5%,” Kamalvandi told the AP. (RELATED: Iran Announces Another Move That Could Mean It’s Closer To Nuclear Capabilities)

US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a rally organized by the Tea Party Patriots against the Iran nuclear deal in front of the Capitol in Washington, DC, on September 9, 2015. AFP PHOTO/NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a rally organized by the Tea Party Patriots against the Iran nuclear deal in front of the Capitol in Washington, DC, on September 9, 2015. (NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Iran foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi told reporters Iran has “no hope nor trust in anyone nor any country,” the AP reported. “But the door of diplomacy is open.”

Iran also issued a warning to the remaining European countries involved in the deal — Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia — about a 60-day deadline until the regime implements an even stronger “third step” to reducing its compliance in the deal. (RELATED: Trump On Rising Iran Tensions: ‘No More John Kerry And Obama!’)

Trump warned Iran to be “careful,” saying it is enriching the element for “one reason.”

“Because you enrich for one reason, and I won’t tell you what the reason is. But it’s no good. They better be careful,” he said.

This Administration has been strongly committed to standing up to the world’s leading state sponsor of terror which is why President [Donald Trump] withdrew from the disastrous nuclear deal with Iran. We will NEVER let Iran gain access to a nuclear weapon!” Vice President Mike Pence said Monday.

Tensions continue to grow between the two countries after the regime struck a U.S. Navy drone June 20 and Trump strengthened sanctions against the country June 24.

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