A senior Iranian lawmaker’s threat that Tehran could increase the level to which it’s enriching uranium has prompted a U.S. scientific think tank to warn that the step would move Iran significantly closer to having weapons-grade uranium – and increase the likelihood of war.

Before Iran formally announces any such plans, the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) advised, the United States and its partners should “quietly but clearly state to Iran what it risks by producing highly-enriched uranium under any pretext.”

ISIS analysts were responding to statements by Mansour Haghigatpour, deputy chairman of Iran’s parliamentary committee on national security, to the effect that if negotiations with the “P5+1” – the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany – fail to deliver a deal Iran may have to start enriching uranium to 60 percent.

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