Iran says it has resumed 20 per cent uranium enrichment

January 5, 2021 by JNS
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The Iranian government said on Monday that it has resumed enriching uranium to 20 per cent at its underground nuclear facility at Fordow in a further violation of its commitments under the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal.

Uranium enrichment centrifuges at Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility. Credit: Tehran Times

“A few minutes ago, the process of producing 20 per cent enriched uranium … started in [the] Fordow enrichment complex,” Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabeie told Iranian state media, wrote Reuters.

“The process of gas injection to centrifuges has started a few hours ago and the first product of uranium hexafluoride (UF6) gas will be available in a few hours,” said Rabeie, adding that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had been informed of the move.

In response to the announcement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “Iran’s decision to continue violating its commitments, to raise the enrichment level and advance the industrial ability to enrich uranium underground, cannot be explained in any way except as the continued realization of its intention to develop a military nuclear program.”

Israel will not allow Iran to produce nuclear weapons, stated Netanyahu.

Atomic Energy Organization of Iran director Ali Akbar Salehi announced on Saturday that Iran intended to enrich up to 20 per cent “as soon as possible.”


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