Iran says it will install 1,000 centrifuges at nuclear plant in next 3 months

New equipment to be set up at Natanz enrichment facility; Iranian official says its scientists have exceeded expected output of enriched uranium

This photo released November 5, 2019, by the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, shows centrifuge machines in the Natanz uranium enrichment facility in central Iran. (Atomic Energy Organization of Iran via AP, File)

Iran said Thursday it plans to install 1,000 new centrifuges at the Natanz nuclear facility within three months and that its scientists had exceeded previous goals for uranium enrichment.

Behrouz Kamalvandi, a spokesperson for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, made the announcement about the centrifuges while Parliament Speaker Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf visited the Fordo nuclear facility, an underground site near the city of Qom.

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German FM insists nuclear deal is best way to confront Iran’s ‘reckless’ acts

Speaking to INSS conference, Heiko Maas says Tehran’s missiles, proxies must also be addressed; calls for end to settlement construction

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas speaks to the media after a meeting on the divisive migrant issue in Paris, France, July 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

Iran’s missile program and “aggressive” activities across the Middle East must be addressed, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Wednesday.

“But the best tool for doing so remains the JCPOA,” Maas stressed, referring to the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the six world powers known as the P5+1. “Although it may be far from perfect, it does give us more transparency than we ever had before.”

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Top American envoy Blinken says Iran needs to return to nuclear deal before US

Biden’s new secretary of state, on his first full day in role, rejects Iranian pressure for Washington to take action first, says process of return will be a long one

Antony Blinken, accompanied by his wife Evan Ryan, arrives for his ceremonial swearing-in as Secretary of State, Washington, January 27, 2021. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON — The United States will only return to the Iran nuclear deal once Tehran meets its commitments, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday, warning of a long road until verification.

On his first full day as the top US diplomat, Blinken confirmed President Joe Biden’s willingness to return to the deal trashed by his predecessor but rejected Iranian pressure for the United States to act first.

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US B-52 once again overflies Mideast in show of force to Iran

New White House administration girds for tense relationship with Tehran by flying nuclear-capable bomber over region; plane accompanied at one point by Saudi jets

illustrative: A US B-52H Stratofortress from Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana is refueled during a training exercise, August 21, 2017. (US Air Force/Louis Briscese)

WASHINGTON — An American B-52 bomber flew over the Middle East Wednesday in a show of force by President Joe Biden’s new administration as it girds for a challenging relationship with Iran, the Pentagon said.

The nuclear-capable B-52H Stratofortress flew the round-trip mission from Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, accompanied at different times by US fighter jets and refueling tankers, and, at one point, by Royal Saudi Arabian Air Force F-15 fighters.

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Indonesia Says It Has Seized Iranian and Panamanian Tankers

JAKARTA, Indonesia—Indonesian authorities said that they seized an Iranian tanker and Panamanian tanker suspected of carrying out the illegal transfer of oil in their country’s waters Sunday.

The tankers—the Iranian-flagged MT Horse and the Panamanian-flagged MT Frea—were seized in waters off Indonesia’s West Kalimantan province, said Wisnu Pramadita, a spokesman for the Indonesian Maritime Security Agency.

He said the tankers are suspected of a variety of violations, including not displaying national flags, shutting off their identification systems, anchoring illegally as well as the illegal transfer fuel between ships and spilling oil.

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Biden speaks with Macron, agrees to coordinate on Iran nuclear deal

Two leaders also in agreement on climate change and how to fight coronavirus; US president has indicated willingness to rejoin atomic deal, while Israel urges significant changes

Illustrative: French President Emmanuel Macron speaks on the telephone to US President-elect Joe Biden, at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020. (Ian Langsdon, Pool via AP)

PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron and new US President Joe Biden agreed Sunday to coordinate on Middle East Peace issues and the Iran nuclear deal, the Elysee palace said.

The two leaders spoke for the first time since Biden’s inauguration in a telephone call Sunday, discussing “their willingness to act together for peace in the Near and Middle East, in particular on the Iranian nuclear issue,” the French presidency said.

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As US vows to coordinate with Israel, Iran says no changes to nuke deal

FM Zarif says Tehran’s ‘return to the table’ at stake if Washington and its allies demands new terms for lifting sanctions

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attends a forum titled ‘Common Security in the Islamic World’ in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, August 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian, File)

Ahead of expected efforts to reconstitute Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers, the Islamic Republic’s foreign minister has warned that his country would not accept changes to the terms of the 2015 pact.

Writing in Foreign Affairs on Friday, Mohammad Javad Zarif said that Iran’s “return to the table will be jeopardized if Washington or its EU allies demand new terms for a deal that was already carefully constructed through years of negotiations.”

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As US vows to coordinate with Israel, Iran says no changes to nuke deal

FM Zarif says Tehran’s ‘return to the table’ at stake if Washington and its allies demands new terms for lifting sanctions

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attends a forum titled ‘Common Security in the Islamic World’ in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, August 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian, File)

Ahead of expected efforts to reconstitute Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers, the Islamic Republic’s foreign minister has warned that his country would not accept changes to the terms of the 2015 pact.

Writing in Foreign Affairs on Friday, Mohammad Javad Zarif said that Iran’s “return to the table will be jeopardized if Washington or its EU allies demand new terms for a deal that was already carefully constructed through years of negotiations.”

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TV: Mossad chief to meet Biden, set out terms for overhaul of Iran nuclear deal

Key Netanyahu colleague will be 1st top Israeli to meet US president, report says; will specify what Israel believes are core commitments Iran must make if US to reenter accord

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Yossi Cohen at a press conference at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, October 15, 2015. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to dispatch Mossad chief Yossi Cohen to Washington in the coming weeks to lay out Israel’s demands of the Biden administration for any new version of the Iran nuclear deal, Channel 12 news reported Saturday night.

The network said Cohen, one of Netanyahu’s most trusted colleagues, is to travel to the US within the next month and will be the first senior Israeli official to meet US President Joe Biden. He is also expected to meet with the head of the CIA.

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Islamic Jihad says late Iranian general Soleimani gave ‘direct orders’ in Gaza

Assassinated Quds force commander behind ‘complex’ delivery of Iranian missiles used to attack Tel Aviv, says senior figure in Palestinian terror group

Palestinian members of the Al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic Jihad terrorist group, parade with a replica rocket on a truck during a march to show loyalty for the Iranian-backed Palestinian movement’s newly-elected leader Ziad al-Nakhalah during a rally along the streets of Gaza, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

A senior figure in the terror group Palestinian Islamic Jihad said the organization received “direct orders” from the late Iranian Quds force commander Qassem Soleimani up until his assassination in a US airstrike last year, and that rockets supplied by the Iranians were used to attack Israel.

Speaking during a December interview with the Iranian al-Alam TV, the secretary-general of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Ziyad al-Nakhaleh, said “nothing happened [in Gaza] without his direct orders and supervision,” according to a translation this week by the Middle East Media Research Institute.

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