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Iran reopens nuclear plant amid the possibility of accord falling apart

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With the Iran nuclear deal under threat, the country is preparing to revive its uranium enrichment facilities. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Iran's atomic energy agency (AEOI) said Wednesday that it has reopened a nuclear plant that had been closed for nine years, as reported by Reuters.

What's going on?

President Donald Trump announced last month that the U.S. would be withdrawing from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear accord, or Iran nuclear deal, from 2015 — which the participating European countries (and the Obama administration) saw as a way to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

But with the U.S. backing out, the deal is seen as vulnerable. Weeks ago, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei gave the go-ahead for AEOI to resume uranium enrichment in case JDPOA falls apart completely.

Iran's Fordow nuclear facility was cited as one being revived as part of the country's plan to increase its enrichment capacity.

Does this mean they're building a bomb?

According to Reuters, the AEOI's "tentative" plans to enrich uranium to 3.67 percent is compliant under JCPOA — the level of enrichment for weapons is at 90 percent.

The U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency acknowledged on June 5 that Iran had given the group a heads up regarding their plans.

In a statement on its website,  the AEOI insists that "The Islamic Republic of Iran regards (the) use of nuclear and chemical weapons as a cardinal and unforgivable sin," and says their country's motto is, "Nuclear energy (for) all, nuclear weapons for none."

But not everyone believes that, particularly Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who insists that his country has evidence that Iran is working toward making a nuclear bomb.

With President Trump's rejection of JCPOA, economic sanctions will be reimposed on Iran in the coming months. This has led to elevation tensions between Iran and the U.S.; on Wednesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told Iranians to "bring America to its knees."

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