"By gradually disengaging from certain clauses of the 2015 agreement, Iran is seeking to get the U.S. to ease sanctions, and then, perhaps, Tehran will say it is ready to discuss again", explained FRANCE 24's global affairs expert Bruno Daroux.
He indicated that the deputy director general's briefing on Iran dealt with its delay in providing adequate information consistent with the results of testing samples taken by the IAEA from an undisclosed site where nuclear materials were detected and this site has been cleared before being visited by the IAEA inspectors without providing any logical explanations identical to the analysis and testing of the samples during the last 11 months.
Gharibabadi also confirmed that "there were suspicious materials in the incident involving the IAEA inspector".
"We understand that the incident was resolved and call upon Iran to ensure that no such incidents occur in the future", an European Union statement said. She suggested that inspectors recovered possible nuclear material there.
Tensions between Tehran and Washington have been rising since Trump pulled out of the nuclear deal past year despite IAEA assurances that Iran was in compliance with the terms of the multilateral agreement. Iran has warned that it will resume nuclear activities outside the JCPOA following successive waves of crippling United States sanctions that has blocked Iran's oil exports, damaged its currency and its access to products such as medicines. Fordo's 1,044 centrifuges previously spun without uranium gas for enrichment under the deal, which saw Iran limit its uranium enrichment in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. Now, it's become an active nuclear site again and represents the most-serious step away from the deal it has taken amid the tensions. The centrifuges ultimately will begin enriching uranium up to 4.5%, which is just beyond the limits of the nuclear deal, but nowhere near weapons-grade levels of 90%.
Tehran's maximum resistance strategy is also aimed at forcing European signatories to the Iran nuclear deal (France, Britain and Germany together with the EU) to keep their promises of compensation for USA sanctions.
Iran acknowledged Fordo's existence in 2009 amid a major pressure campaign by Western powers over Tehran's nuclear program.
"Iran's expansion of proliferation-sensitive activities raises concerns that Iran is positioning itself to have the option of a rapid nuclear breakout", Pompeo said.
Iran's saber-rattling smacks of desperation, and it's a clear indication that Trump's efforts to pressure the regime are working - even as the US plans to introduce a fresh round of sanctions against advisors to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.