By staff and agency

Salehi says Iran producing 5.5 kilograms of low-enriched uranium per day

November 11, 2019 - 19:33

Ali Akbar Salehi, the chief the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), has said that Iran is producing even more low-enriched uranium daily.

In an interview with AP published on Monday, he attributed the rise to the work at Fordow.

“I believe (that) in total, 5.5 kilograms is the daily volume of uranium enrichment in Natanz and Fordo,” he said, mentioning Iran’s other nuclear facility at Natanz, where over 5,000 centrifuges now spin. 

Salehi suggested the figure could go as high at 6 kilograms (13 pounds) a day.

President Hassan Rouhani on November 5 ordered the AEOI to start injecting uranium gas into advanced IR-6 centrifuges at the Fordow nuclear enrichment facility as the fourth step to reduce nuclear commitments in response to the abandonment of the 2015 nuclear deal and imposition of the harshest ever sanctions in history against Iran.

The AEOI officially started injecting gas into 1,044 centrifuges at the underground Fordow nuclear site at the presence of inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency. 

On May 8, exactly one year after the U.S. abandoned the deal, Tehran said its “strategic patience” is over and began to partially reduce its commitments to the agreement at bi-monthly intervals.

In the first stage, Iran announced that it will not limit its stockpile of the nuclear fuel to 300 kilograms allowed under the deal. On that date (May 8) Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) said if the remaining parties to the JCPOA, especially Europeans, devise a mechanism to protect Iran from the sanctions’ effect in the two-month deadline it will reverse its decision. 

But since European parties missed the deadline, on July 7 Iran announced that it has started enriching uranium to a higher purity than the 3.67%, thereby starting the second step.

Again, as Europe missed the second 60-day deadline, Iran moved to take the third step, removing a ban on nuclear research and development (R&D).

NA/PA

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