Iran says to enrich uranium to 20% in ‘4 days’ if nuclear deal ditched

November 5, 2017

TEHRAN - Ali Akbar Salehi, director of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, said on Saturday that Iran can enrich uranium to a purity of 20% in four days at the Fordow nuclear plant if the U.S. kills the 2015 nuclear deal.

“5060 centrifuges work in Natanz [nuclear plant] and we can resume enrichment to 20% purity at Fordow in four days,” Salehi, a nuclear physicist, said in a televised interview.

However, he expressed hope that the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and backed by the UN Security Council, would be protected.

He said that the U.S. seeks to quit the nuclear deal at the expense of Iran but Tehran will give the “necessary response in a smart way”.

The top nuclear official likened U.S. President Donald Trump’s approach toward the world of politics like a person who is “entering a dark tunnel”.

“The Europeans have opposed Trump’s position. Generally, Trump has entered a dark tunnel by his stances and remarks. So, we should hope that the people around him would make him come to his senses and stop causing problems to us and the international community,” remarked Salehi who served as foreign minister from  2010  to 2013.

He said that according to the JCPOA, no action should be done to weaken the nuclear deal but the U.S. administration has violated various terms of the agreement by making anti-JCPOA comments.

In his new Iran strategy declared on October 13, Trump decertified the nuclear deal and asked Congress to decide about the fate of the agreement.

Congress now has to decide whether to reimpose economic sanctions on Tehran that were lifted under the deal.

The decision came despite the fact that the International Atomic Energy Agency – the United Nations nuclear watchdog – has issued eight reports each time confirming that Tehran is abiding fully to the terms of the agreement.

President Hassan Rouhani said in August that Iran will quit nuclear agreement “in hours” and return to the previous stage if sanctions are re-imposed on the country.

NA/PA

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