Iran’s Nuclear Chief Says 20% Uranium Enrichment Not A Bluff
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran said the country’s readiness to restart the process of enriching uranium to a purity level of 20 percent at the Fordow nuclear site in case efforts to save the Iran nuclear deal fail is not a bluff at all.
In an interview with state TV on the sidelines of a visit to the Fordow nuclear facility, Ali Akbar Salehi said while Iran has accepted to put confidence-building curbs on its nuclear program under the 2015 nuclear deal, such restrictions do not obstruct the “peaceful activities of Iran’s nuclear industry.”
“The enrichment is currently underway, but we would put aside the 300kg limit (set by the JCPOA) whenever we wish, and would do the enrichment at any volume and level,” Press TV quoted him as saying.
“We currently have 1,044 centrifuges in Fordow, and if the establishment wants, we will restart 20-percent uranium enrichment in Fordow,” he said.
The top official expressed hope that the remaining parties to the nuclear agreement would honor their commitments and fill the gap created by the US after its unilateral withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Otherwise, Iran will have to reduce its JCPOA commitments, he warned.
“I would like to warn that this is not a bluff; I have kept my word whenever I’ve said something. Now I’m emphasizing once again that if the establishment wants, we can easily return to the 20-percent enrichment, and meet the country’s needs at any level and volume,” Salehi concluded.
On May 8, the US president pulled his country out of the JCPOA, which was achieved in Vienna in 2015 after years of negotiations among Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany).
Following the US exit, Iran and the remaining parties launched talks to save the accord.