The Latest: Official: Iran producing more enriched uranium

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — The Latest on developments in Iran and the tensions in the Persian Gulf (all times local):

12:10 p.m.

The head of Iran's nuclear program has told The Associated Press that the country now is producing more low-enriched uranium daily, after restarting an underground lab.

Tehran had been producing some 450 grams, or about 1 pound, of low-enriched uranium a day under the nuclear deal. It's since broken out of the accord's limits over a year after President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the accord.

Ali Akbar Salehi of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran told AP journalists Monday in Tehran that now the country is producing at least 5.5 kilograms daily, or about 12 pounds.

Salehi said that's due in part to restarting enrichment at Iran's underground Fordo nuclear facility.


11:40 a.m.

Iran's president is making a new pitch to hard-liners to stay in the country's unraveling 2015 nuclear deal with world powers: the chance to buy and sell weapons abroad next year.

President Hassan Rouhani made the comments in a speech Monday in Rafsanjan in Iran's southwest Kerman province.

Rouhani said: "If we save the nuclear deal, Iran's arms embargo will be lifted and we can buy weapons or sell our weapons to the world. This is one of the deal's significant impacts."

The end of the weapons embargo, imposed by the United Nations, already worries the Trump administration.

All this comes a year after President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America from the deal. In the time since, Iran has begun breaking limits imposed by the deal to pressure Europe.