Iran ends commitment to nuclear deal following killing of Qassem Soleiman

5 January 2020, 22:05

Iran have said they will not longer be abiding by the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal
Iran have said they will not longer be abiding by the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

Iran has said it will no longer abide by any of the limits of its unravelling 2015 nuclear deal with world powers after a US air strike killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani on Friday.

It ends an accord that blocked Tehran from having enough material to build an atomic weapon.

The announcement came on Sunday night after another Iranian official said it would consider taking even harsher steps over the killing.

Hundreds of thousands of people flooded the streets in Iran on Sunday to walk alongside a casket carrying the remains of General Soleimani.

Iran's state TV cited a statement by President Hassan Rouhani's administration saying the country will not observe limitations on its enrichment, the amount of stockpiled enriched uranium as well as research and development in its nuclear activities.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations watchdog observing Iran's programme, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Iran said its co-operation with the IAEA "will continue as before".

Technicians work at the Arak heavy water reactor's secondary circuit in Iran
Technicians work at the Arak heavy water reactor's secondary circuit in Iran. Picture: PA

Meanwhile, Iraq's Parliament voted in favour of a resolution calling for an end of the foreign military presence in their nation, an effort aimed at expelling the 5,000 US troops stationed there over the war against ISIS.

General Soleimani's killing has escalated the crisis between Tehran and Washington after months of trading attacks and threats that have put the wider Middle East on edge.

The conflict is rooted in US President Donald Trump pulling out of Iran's atomic accord and imposing sanctions that have crippled Iran's economy.

Iran has promised "harsh revenge" for the US attack, which shocked Iranians across all political lines.

On Sunday evening, more rockets were fired at the US Embassy in Iraq, for the second day in a row.

Just minutes after media reports of the rocket strikes broke US President Donald Trump tweeted the US military 'will quickly & fully strike back,' perhaps disproportionately, if Iran hits a US target.

Thousands in Iran have protested Soleimani's death
Thousands in Iran have protested Soleimani's death. Picture: PA

He said: "These Media Posts will serve as notification to the United States Congress that should Iran strike any U.S. person or target, the United States will quickly & fully strike back, & perhaps in a disproportionate manner.

"Such legal notice is not required, but is given nevertheless!"

Mr Trump's warning also comes after he made a threat to target 52 locations in Iran if Tehran retaliates.

Mr Trump has already deployed 3,000 extra troops to Kuwait and the Royal Navy will accompany UK-flagged ships through the key oil route of the Strait of Hormuz.

The latest explosions came just hours after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson called Soleimani a "threat to all of our interests."

The Iraq parliament voted today to expel foreign military powers
The Iraq parliament voted today to expel foreign military powers. Picture: PA

Soleimani, the leader of the elite Quds force, was killed in a targeted strike at Baghdad Airport in the neighbouring Iraq in the early hours of Friday morning.

His death has sparked international concerns of unrest in the region, with the US urging its citizens to leave the country as soon as possible.

The day after the attack, a number of co-ordinated attacks were made on the US Embassy in Baghdad and military bases where US forces are based.

No deaths were reported in the strikes, although a number of injuries were suffered.US President Donald Trump claimed strike was done to "stop a war", saying Soleimani "made the death of innocent people his sick passion".