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Iran nuclear deal

Accusing Iran of 'nuclear extortion,' U.S. promises to impose new sanctions

During an emergency meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna on Wednesday, the American ambassador accused Iran of "nuclear extortion," after President Trump promised further sanctions against the country.

Tehran has started stockpiling and enriching uranium, breaking the limit set by the nuclear deal it reached with major world powers. There is "no credible reason for Iran to expand its nuclear program, and there is no way to read this as anything other than a crude and transparent attempt to extort payments from the international community." Jackie Wolcott, the U.S. ambassador, said. If Iran wants sanctions relief, it must come "through negotiations, not nuclear extortion," she added.

On Twitter Wednesday morning, Trump wrote that sanctions against Iran will "soon be increased, substantially!" The United States and Iran have both said they are willing to start negotiations again, with Tehran demanding Washington remove sanctions on its oil exports and rejoin the nuclear deal Trump walked away from in 2018, and the U.S. saying it must do whatever it takes to keep Iran from developing a nuclear weapons program.