FILE PHOTO: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a news conference with Iraqi President Barham Salih (not pictured) in Baghdad, Iraq, March 11, 2019. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani/File Photo

DUBAI/PARIS (Reuters) - Iran is ready to hold talks with the United States if Washington lifts sanctions and returns to the 2015 nuclear deal it quit last year, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a televised speech on Sunday.

U.S. President Donald Trump's administration says it is open to negotiations with Iran on a more far-reaching agreement on nuclear and security issues.

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(Ministry of Defense/Joel Rouse)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Five boats believed to belong to Iranian Revolutionary Guards approached a British oil tanker in the Gulf on Wednesday and asked it to stop in Iranian waters close by, but withdrew after a British warship warned them, U.S. officials said.

Britain's Ministry of Defense had no immediate comment.

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(U.S. Navy/Chief Boatswain's Mate Nelson Doromal Jr)

In January 2016 two U.S. Navy river patrol boats accidentally strayed into Iranian waters near Farsi Island in the Persian Gulf. Iranian militia forces captured both Riverine Command Boats and the 10 American sailors aboard them.

After a day of intensive diplomacy, Iran released the boats and their crews. The incident was embarrassing to the Navy and its new river patrol force. Three years later, the riverine squadrons have new Mark VI boats and a new philosophy, as David Larter explained in July 2019 in an in-depth story for Defense News.

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Photo: REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi

GENEVA/DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran threatened on Monday to restart deactivated centrifuges and ramp up its enrichment of uranium to 20 percent purity as its next potential big moves away from a 2015 nuclear agreement that Washington abandoned last year.

The threats, made by the spokesman for Tehran's nuclear agency, would go far beyond the small steps Iran has taken in the past week to nudge its stocks of fissile material just beyond limits in the nuclear pact.

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Stephen McHugh via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) - British Royal Marines seized an oil tanker in Gibraltar on Thursday accused of bringing oil to Syria in violation of EU sanctions, a dramatic step that could escalate confrontation between the West and Iran.

The Grace 1 tanker was impounded in the British territory at the mouth of the Mediterranean Sea after sailing around Africa from Middle East.

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(Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)

DUBAI/VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran announced on Monday it had amassed more low-enriched uranium than permitted under its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, drawing a warning from U.S. President Donald Trump that Tehran was "playing with fire."

Tehran's announcement marked its first major step beyond the terms of the pact since the United States pulled out of it more than a year ago. However, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the move was not a violation of the accord, arguing that Iran was exercising its right to respond to the U.S. walkout.

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