Iran will not lift its ban on talks with the United States, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Sunday, describing the two countries as implacable foes on the eve of the 40th anniversary of the seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran.
Increased centrifuge capacity could allow Iran to cut the time it needs to produce a nuclear weapon sooner than the previously estimated one year. Iran denies ever having sought to build a nuclear bomb.
The United Nations nuclear watchdog said in September that Iran had informed the agency about making modifications to accommodate cascades - or interconnected clusters - of 164 of the IR-2m and IR-4 centrifuge. Cascades of the same size and type were scrapped under the deal. This decision will require US banks to increase scrutiny when dealing with foreign financial institutions that also hold Iranian accounts.
The Army chief added that "on November 4, 1979, the Iranian nation proved to the world that no arrogant and non-divine power can stand against the will of the nations".
With anti-American slogans and effigies mocking president Donald Trump, thousands rallied outside the former USA embassy in Tehran on Monday to mark the 40th anniversary of the Iran hostage crisis.
The anniversary this year comes amid tensions heightened to a level unseen since the hostage crisis after President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from Iran's nuclear deal with world powers and re-imposed sanctions on Tehran.
Washington has since renewed and intensified its sanctions, slashing Iran's economically vital crude oil sales by more than 80 per cent.
"The French president, who says a meeting will end all the problems between Tehran and America, is either naïve or complicit with America", Ayatollah Khamenei said in remarks quoted by state television.
The US Treasury Department said those targeted help Khamenei "implement his destabilising policies".
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A result of 50 indicates no change , and the distance above or below 50 indicates the pace of growth of contraction respectively. Meanwhile, businesses have seen an addition of 131,000 jobs whereas federal, state, and local governments had 3,000 fewer.
Iran is now enriching uranium to 4.5 percent, in violation of the accord's limit of 3.67 percent.
Iran had said earlier that it was capable of enriching uranium beyond the 20 per cent level.
Washington's European allies have opposed the Trump administration's decision to abandon the nuclear pact.
The 41-year-old centrist had been scrambling to soothe tensions between Washington and Tehran, which reached boiling point after a September 14 attack on Saudi oil facilities that Saudi Arabia, the U.S. and Europe have blamed on Iran.
"This sends a clear message from our government of how important it is that Bob Levinson be returned to his family and friends who love him", the statement said.
"Iran is ready to fully implement the deal if its rights are respected".
Khamenei, who has final say on all state matters, repeated his opposition to talks with the U.S. In October, he had said negotiations with the U.S. would not take place unless Washington returned to the nuclear deal by lifting its sanctions.
The nuclear deal had capped the number of centrifuge enrichment machines installed in Iran at roughly 6,000, down from around 19,000 before 2015.