Iran Can Reach 190,000-SWU Enrichment Capacity in Less than 2 Years: Nuclear Chief

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi said the country is capable of increasing the level of uranium enrichment capacity to 190,000 SWU (Separative Work Unit) within one and a half to two years.

Speaking to reporters at a press conference in Tehran on Tuesday, Salehi highlighted the AEOI’s latest measures following an order by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei for preparations for the enrichment of uranium up to a level of 190,000 SWU without any delay within the framework of the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

For the production capacity of 190,000 SWU, among other things a hall to assemble centrifuges is needed, he said, adding that many of the preparations for it have been made and it is hoped that the hall would be fully prepared within one or two months.

“But this does not mean the mass production of centrifuges,” Salehi noted, adding that facilities in this hall are in place so that if “the JCPOA collapses, God forbid, we will not (have to) seek to build a hall (from scratch)”.

In case the JCPOA collapses, the capacity of this hall would be such that the country can reach the production capacity of 190,000 SWU within one and a half to two years, the nuclear chief went on to say.

He made the remarks a day after Ayatollah Khamenei ordered the AEOI to make preparations for the enrichment of uranium up to a level of 190,000 SWU without any delay in the framework provided by the JCPOA.

Speaking at a ceremony held at the Imam Khomeini Mausoleum in southern Tehran on Monday evening to commemorate the 29th anniversary of the passing away of Imam Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Khamenei said the Iranian nation and government cannot tolerate to be both sanctioned and be put in the “nuclear custody”.

US President Donald Trump announced on May 8 that Washington was walking away from the nuclear agreement.

Trump also said he would reinstate US nuclear sanctions on Iran and impose “the highest level” of economic bans on the Islamic Republic.

Under the JCPOA, Iran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions imposed against Tehran.

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