U.S. to counter Iran with military force deployment: Pentagon

Iran to announce partial withdrawal from nuclear deal — Reports

President Hassan Rouhani has warned of a "firm response" if Iran's nuclear case is referred once again to the United Nations Security Council, with Tehran confirming it was partially withdrawing from the Joint Place of Comprehensive Action (JPCOA) nuclear deal signed in 2015.

According to Russian Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov, Tehran's backtracking on the agreement was due to external pressure.

Rowhani is expected to explain his steps in a live interview with state broadcaster IRIB on Wednesday evening, according to reports that have not yet been confirmed by the president's office.

Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, US, Britain, France, and Germany) on July 14, 2015, reached a conclusion over the text of the JCPOA. United Nations inspectors have repeatedly verified Iranian compliance with the deal.

This comes a day after U.S. national security adviser John Bolton released a statement that a USA carrier battle group would be sent to the region "to send a clear and unmistakable message" that any attack on the United States or its allies would result in a U.S. response.

President Hassan Rouhani is also set to send a letter to the five countries´ heads of state in order to "clearly emphasise how much Iran has commanded patience regarding the JCPOA", IRNA reported.

Officials from Iran and the nuclear deal's other remaining parties are scheduled to meet in Brussels on Tuesday. Under the accord, Iran reconfigured a heavy-water reactor so it couldn't produce plutonium and agreed to convert its Fordo enrichment site - dug deep into a mountainside - into a research center.

"The United States is not seeking war with the Iranian regime, but we are fully prepared to respond to any attack, whether by proxy, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or regular Iranian forces", he said.

The nuclear deal was the flagship policy of Rouhani, who won two landslide elections on promises to end Iran's isolation and open its economy up to the world.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to prevent Tehran from obtaining nuclear arms Wednesday, hours after Iran declared it would step up enrichment activity as the 2015 nuclear deal appeared close to crumbling.

In response to the U.S. ending the sanctions waivers, Iran repeated threats to block the strategic Strait of Hormuz, a critical passageway for the world's oil exports.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the move was in response to "new intelligence that suggests allied interests and American forces could be imperiled", according to multiple USA officials.

On Friday, the USA acted to force Iran to stop producing low-enriched uranium and expanding its only nuclear power plant. Weapons-grade uranium needs to be enriched to around 90 per cent. That's compared to the 10,000kg of higher-enriched uranium it once had. Iran has previously enriched to 20 per cent.

Iran has the technical ability to build and operate advanced versions called the IR-2M, IR-4 and IR-6 at a facility in Natanz, but is barred from doing so under the nuclear deal. No significant US forces have so far withdrawn from Syria.

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