Iran ends all commitments to 2015 nuclear deal

IRAN – Iran’s state television IRNA reported Sunday that the government is removing all limits on uranium enrichment, which means it is ending its remaining commitments to the 2015 nuclear deal.

In the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, Iran agreed to restrict nuclear development in exchange for easing economic sanctions.

The announcement comes after the U.S., in a drone airstrike at the Baghdad airport, killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani Friday, local time.

The Pentagon issued a statement Jan. 2 saying at the direction of the President, the U.S. military took decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad by killing Soleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization.

The Pentagon said General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region. 

“General Soleimani and his Quds Force were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more,” said the statement. “He had orchestrated attacks on coalition bases in Iraq over the last several months – including the attack on December 27th – culminating in the death and wounding of additional American and Iraqi personnel. General Soleimani also approved the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad that took place this week.”

After the airstrike, Iranians shouted “Death to America.” General Soleimani was Iran’s top general and one of the most powerful men in the country.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, in a tweet, called the killing of Soleimani “an act of international terrorism” that is “extremely dangerous & a foolish escalation.”

The general’s body arrived home in Iran Sunday and thousands flooded the streets to honour him.

A CBS reporter tweeted, “Among retaliation scenarios, US official tells CBS News Iran may launch series of attacks aimed at US government or financial targets, Western European institutions as well as Israel. Official said Iranian probing US targets stepped up before Soleimani strike.”

Iran said, however, they will keep working with the UN nuclear watchdog IAEA and will return to the nuclear deal if the U.S. removes sanctions.

Oil prices increased Friday after speculation that Iran may retaliate against the U.S., thus disrupting global energy supplies from the Middle East.

On Tuesday President Donald Trump ordered an additional 4,000 soldiers from the 82 Airborne Division to be deployed to Kuwait to reinforce security.

In the last six months, the U.S. deployed more than 14,000 additional troops to the Middle East. There are more than 60,000 U.S. troops in the United States Central Command (CENTCOM).

Updated Jan. 5, 12:06 p.m., 12:48 p.m.

-Alberta Press Leader staff

-reporter@albertapressleader.ca

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