The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the global nuclear watchdog, confirmed the practice is on the rise and expressed concern over the ongoing US-Iran tensions. At a news conference in Vienna, IAEA chief Yukiya Amano was asked about the Iranians’ actions. He said: “Yes, the production rate is increasing.” He declined to quantify the increase.
His comment come after Tehran last month threatened to suspend some of its commitments under the landmark nuclear accord because of Mr Trump’s sanctions.
The US President ordered all countries and companied to halt imports of Iranian oil or face being banished from the global financial system.
All major European companies that had announced plans to invest in Iran have since called them off for fear of US punishment.
Iran had said it was the European signatories’ responsibility to ensure it was reaping the economic benefits promised to it when it signed the deal.
On Monday, Germany’s foreign minister Heiko Maas visited Tehran where he held a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif.
Mr Maas said: “The situation in the region here is highly explosive and extremely serious.
“A dangerous escalation of existing tensions can also lead to a military escalation.”
Mr Zarif blamed Washington for the soaring tensions and promised Iran would cooperate with the EU to save the pact.
Mr Amano said he hoped dialogue could pave the way forward.
Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China, who all signed the 2015 deal, have vowed to help Iran overcome the sanctions.
But, so far, they have not been successful.
Mr Maas said: ”We want to fulfil our obligations.”
He added “we cannot work miracles, but we will try to avert a failure” if the deal.