The Trump administration found itself in the awkward position Monday of demanding that Iran comply with a nuclear accord that the president has derided as the worst deal in history.
Iran announced Monday it would break a limit on uranium stockpiles established by a 2015 agreement with world powers that was intended to restrict the Islamic Republic's nuclear program in exchange for an easing of international sanctions.
President Donald Trump withdrew from the agreement, signed by his predecessor, and reinstated punishing economic sanctions, resulting in sharply rising tensions that deteriorated further with the Iranian warning that it could soon start to enrich uranium to just a step away from weapons-grade levels.
That put the State Department in the position of defending the limits set by the 2015 deal that was so maligned by Trump and his national security team.
"We continue to call on the Iranian regime not to obtain a nuclear weapon, to abide by their commitments to the international community," State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus told reporters.