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Iran may acquire nuclear weapon by end of year: US official

On Sunday, a senior U.S. official said that the United States will impose sanctions on more than two dozen people and entities involved in Iran’s nuclear, missile and conventional weapons programs.
The official, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said that Iran may have enough fissile material to build a nuclear weapon by the end of the year and that Tehran has resumed long-range missile cooperation with nuclear-armed North Korea.
According to the agency, the new sanctions are in line with the efforts of U.S. President Donald Trump to limit Iran’s regional influence and they come after a week of agreements brokered by the United States for the UAE and Bahrain to normalize relations with Israel.
A large part of the new U.S. sanctions are an executive order targeting those who buy or sell conventional weapons to Iran, the official said.
The Trump administration suspects Iran is seeking to acquire nuclear weapons – which Tehran denies – and the new punitive steps are the latest in a series of efforts to thwart Iran’s nuclear program, which Israel, the U.S. ally, considers an existential threat.
For his part, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, in a letter to the President of the U.N. Security Council, confirmed that he would not take any measures regarding the U.S. request to re-impose sanctions against Tehran due to “lack of clarity.”
On Sunday, the European Union announced that the United States cannot impose international sanctions on Iran, calling for preserving the agreement signed with Tehran in 2015 regarding its nuclear program.