Iran threatens big step away from 2015 nuclear deal with world powers

Iranian MPs chanting "Death to America" during a parliamentary meeting in Teheran on Jan 5, 2020. PHOTO: AFP/ISLAMIC CONSULTATIVE ASSEMBLY NEWS AGENCY

BEIRUT (AP) - Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman says that officials in the Islamic Republic plan to meet Sunday (Jan 5) night to discuss their next step out of the nuclear deal and that it will be even bigger than initially planned.

Mr Abbas Mousavi made the comment on Sunday during a briefing with journalists after a US airstrike killed Iranian Revolutionary Guard General Qassem Soleimani.

Mr Mousavi said the step would be greater than planned as "in the world of politics, all developments are interconnected."

If taken, it would be the fifth step to break terms of Teheran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, which saw Iran limit its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.

Mr Mousavi did not elaborate on what that step could be.

Iran previously has broken limits of its enrichment, its stockpiles and its centrifuges, as well as restarted enrichment at an underground facility.

Meanwhile, major stock markets in the Middle East are trading down on fears of a conflict between Iran and the US after an American drone strike killed Gen. Soleimani.

The Boursa Kuwait closed down 4 per cent. The Dubai Financial Market closed down just over 3 per cent. Riyadh's Tadawul was down over 2 per cent as trading continued.

Oil prices continued to rise. Brent crude traded up 3.5 per cent to US$68.60 a barrel.

The US killed Soleimani on Friday.

Early on Sunday, as Iran threatened "harsh retaliation," President Donald Trump tweeted the US was prepared to strike 52 sites in the Islamic Republic if any Americans are harmed.

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