(CNBC) – Iran is ramping up its uranium output, a provocative step that threatens to further inflame simmering tensions with the United States and deepen regional conflict following a series of dangerous escalations in the Middle East.
Iranian production of low-enriched uranium has recently increased fourfold, putting the nation on a path to exceed limits on nuclear materials set out in a 2015 agreement with world powers, a spokesperson for Iran’s atomic energy agency told Iranian news outlets on Monday.
“We are woefully underappreciating the seriousness of this crisis,” she said.
Iran continued to abide by the terms of the deal until Washington sharply escalated tensions last month.
In April, the Trump administration designated the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization and announced it would tighten sanctionsin a bid to drive Iran’s oil exports to zero. Shortly after the new U.S. sanctions policy took effect this month, Iran said it would stop complying with key parts of the nuclear deal.