• Tuesday, Feb 07, 2023
  • Last Update : 09:54 am

Iran ups uranium enrichment to 60%

  • Published at 11:39 am August 18th, 2021
Iran Nuclear Power Plant
File Photo: This picture shows workers on the construction site of a second reactor during an official ceremony to kick-start the works at the Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant on November 10, 2019 AFP

The Islamic republic has gradually rolled back its nuclear commitments since 2018

Iran has established a process to accelerate production of highly enriched uranium, the UN nuclear watchdog said on Tuesday, with talks to save the 2015 nuclear deal at a standstill.

International Atomic Energy Agency director Rafael Grossi informed IAEA member states that Tehran was boosting such capacity at its Natanz enrichment plant.

The agency verified on Saturday that "Iran had configured a new operational mode for the production of UF6 enriched up to 60% U-235," Grossi said in a statement to AFP.

This involved using two centrifuge cascades compared to one previously, he added. The move takes Iran closer to the 90% purity level needed for use in a nuclear weapon. Tehran had started in mid-April to enrich uranium to 60%.

The Islamic republic has gradually rolled back its nuclear commitments since 2018, when then US president Donald Trump withdrew from a multilateral nuclear deal and began imposing sanctions.

The 2015 deal known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, gave Iran relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear program.

Under the accord, Iran had committed to keep enrichment to 3.67%, though it had stepped this up to 20% in January.

Trump's successor Joe Biden said he hopes to revive the nuclear deal and indirect talks in Vienna, through European intermediaries, started in the Austrian capital in April. But the talks broke up on June 20 without any discernible progress.

The EU said earlier this month that Iran is ready to resume talks under new president Ebrahim Raisi, and meetings could take place in Vienna from early September.

Meanwhile the United States on Monday urged Iran to return to the negotiations, voicing alarm over Iranian production of uranium metal reported by the UN nuclear watchdog.

According to the report presented by Grossi, Iran has made 200 grammes of the metal, after having announced such a project in July for research purposes.

The State Department said Washington believed Tehran "has no credible need to produce uranium metal."

Under the 2015 deal, Iran promised not to produce the metal, which can be used to build a nuclear bomb.

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail