US accuses Iran of 'nuclear extortion' after enrichment statement

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WASHINGTON, Jan 4 (Reuters) - The United States criticized Iran's statement that it had begun the process of enriching uranium to 20%, well above the limit set in the 2015 nuclear deal that Washington abandoned, as a form of "nuclear extortion."

"Iran enriching uranium to 20 percent at Fordow is a clear attempt to increase its campaign of nuclear extortion, an attempt that will continue to fail," said a State Department spokesperson on condition of anonymity. They were responding to a query about Iran's statement that it had resumed 20% uranium enrichment at an underground nuclear facility. (Reporting By Arshad Mohammed and Daphne Psaledakis)