Iran has announced that it is partially withdrawing from a landmark nuclear deal struck with world powers in 2015. It comes exactly one year after the US, under the orders of President Donald Trump, pulled out of the accord, which was designed to limit Tehran's ability to produce nuclear fuel. President Hassan Rouhani has said Iran plans to stop complying with certain parts of the agreement and says if the deal isn't renegotiated within 60 days, Iran will once again begin enriching uranium to high levels. The move is fueling a growing confrontation between Tehran and Washington. On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made an unannounced trip to neighboring Iraq, where he accused Iran of planning 'imminent attacks.' The US is also deploying an aircraft carrier strike group to the region, citing alleged 'new threats' from Tehran.
So what exactly was the 2015 nuclear deal about? Tehran cut its existing uranium stockpile. Uranium is a material that, when enriched, can be used to produce nuclear weapons. It also dramatically cut its number of centrifuges, which are used in the enrichment process. In return the US, UK, Germany, France, China and Russia lifted international sanctions, which had been crippling the Iranian economy, causing the rial to plummet. But Trump says the deal fails to deter Iran from developing ballistic missiles. A year ago the United States pulled out of the deal and has reintroduced all nuclear-related sanctions against Tehran, along with a slew of other punitive measures. In recent days, the US military deployed a carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the Middle East in response to "a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings" from Iran.