Will be able to resume production of 20% enriched uranium in 2 days: Iran atomic agency

Agencies
Iran Published: Sep 03, 2019, 05:10 PM(IST)

File photo: Bushehr nuclear power plant in southern Iran. Photograph:( AFP )

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Enriching uranium up to 20 per cent purity is considered an important intermediate stage on the path to obtaining the 90 per cent pure fissile uranium needed for a bomb.

Iran is capable of resuming production of 20 per cent enriched uranium within two days, the spokesman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Behrouz Kamalvandi said on Tuesday.

"If Iran decides, it can have 20 per cent enriched fuel within one to two days," Fars news agency quoted Kamalvandi as saying.

News agency AFP quoted Rouhani saying that Iran may further cut nuclear commitments in days.

Enriching uranium up to 20 per cent purity is considered an important intermediate stage on the path to obtaining the 90 per cent pure fissile uranium needed for a bomb.

Iran has said it will breach the deal's limits on its nuclear activities one by one, ratcheting up pressure on the countries who still hope to save it.

Tehran had threatened to take further steps by September 6, such as enriching uranium to 20 per cent or restarting mothballed centrifuges, machines that purify uranium for use as fuel in power plants or, if very highly enriched, in weapons.

Tehran is prepared to take a "stronger step" in reducing its commitments under the deal with world powers if European countries don't take action to save the pact, its foreign ministry's spokesman said on Monday.

"The third step has been designed and will be stronger than the first and second steps to create balance between Iran's rights and commitments to the JCPOA," state news agency IRNA quoted the foreign ministry's spokesman Abbas Mousavi as saying on Monday.

However, Iran had earlier stressed that these steps are "reversible" if the European signatories of the pact fulfilled their obligations.

President Donald Trump last year exited the accord between Iran and six world powers aimed at curbing Tehran’s nuclear programme, which the West suspected sought to make a nuclear weapon, in exchange for the lifting of many international sanctions on Tehran. Washington has also reimposed sanctions on exports of Iranian oil.

Iran denies ever having sought a nuclear weapon.

Also, Iran's government spokesman said on Monday that Iran and France's views on the deal have moved closer, mainly after phone calls between President Hassan Rouhani and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron.

(Inputs: Reuters, AFP)

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