Netanyahu shifts emphasis in Merkel meeting to Iranian aggression

Read more Iran in compliance with nuclear deal UN report

The following day, Mr Khamenei declared Tehran's preparations to increase uranium enrichment capacity if the 2015 Iran nuclear deal fell apart, following U.S. withdrawal from the agreement. Before the deal was reached, Tehran enriched uranium to up to 20 per cent purity.

Iran is to inform the United Nations' nuclear agency that it is beginning the process of increasing its capacity to enrich uranium on Tuesday.

Tehran's other partners in the deal - Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China - have all condemned Washington's unilateral withdrawal and said they would still live up to their commitments as part of the deal.

Salehi said the move was in line with instructions from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has ordered preparations for the resumption of unlimited uranium enrichment should the nuclear deal - known by the acronym JCPOA - fall apart.

He said he would initiate new sanctions on Iran, ripping up the touchstone agreement negotiated by his predecessor, Barack Obama.

During a trip to France on Tuesday, Netanyahu warned that Tehran will soon use its uranium enrichment program to destroy Israel.

Meanwhile, Iran is vowing to increase their uranium production if European countries also pull out of the nuclear agreement.

Under the deal, the Islamic Republic curbed its capacity to enrich uranium for nuclear fuel and in return won a lifting of most worldwide sanctions that had hobbled its economy.

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According to the AFP, authorities in Tehran told the IAEA that the expanded production "does not violate" the spirit of the 2015 Iranian Nuclear Agreement; claiming the centrifuges will only be used for energy and peaceful purposes.

Major worldwide companies are already beginning to distance themselves from Iran in fear of United States sanctions.

The Europeans have proposed hammering out a supplementary deal with Tehran covering its ballistic missile program as well as its interventions in countries such as Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

French President Emmanuel Macron has been pushing for a new Iran nuclear deal through which the USA and Europe could tackle Trump's concerns about Tehran's nuclear program and beyond.

Iran, which won sanctions relief in exchange for limiting its nuclear program, has said repeatedly its nuclear activity was exclusively peaceful in nature.

Speaking at a news conference with visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Macron said everyone involved should "stabilize the situation and not give into this escalation, which would lead to only one thing: conflict".

Shortly after Khamenei's speech, French automaker PSA announced it was pulling out of two joint ventures to sell its cars in Iran owing to the U.S. sanctions.

"While I will discuss with them developments in the region, the emphasis will be on Iran, first of all on continuing to block Iran's nuclear program", Netanyahu said at the start of his weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday. Iran is trying to pressure the Europeans to come up with a compensation for the US pulling out.

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