Uranium not to pass 4.5% purity for time being: Kamalvandi

July 16, 2019 - 19:15

TEHRAN - Behrooz Kamalvandi, spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), said on Tuesday that for the time being, Iran will not pass uranium enrichment above 4.5 percent purity.

“We are not supposed to pass enrichment above 4.5 percent purity. We remain at this level for the time being. Enrichment is like high speed rail whose next station after 4.5 percent is 20 percent,” Kamalvandi stated.

He added, “For the time being, the country does not need enrichment at 20 percent purity.” 

On May 8, exactly one year after the U.S. withdrew from the multi-nation nuclear agreement and reimposed sanctions on Iran, Tehran announced a partial withdrawal from some aspects of the pact, saying that the country would no longer adhere to some of the limits on its nuclear activities. It also threatened to step up uranium enrichment if an agreement is not made within 60 days to protect it from the sanctions’ effects. 

In follow-up to that deadline, on July 7 Iran announced that it has started enriching uranium to a higher purity than the 3.67% as the Europeans missed the 60-day deadline to devise a concrete mechanism to protect the country from the U.S. sanctions.

On Monday, Kamalvandi said Tehran’s decision to reduce its commitments to the 2015 nuclear pact was not made out of stubbornness, rather it aims to give a “chance to diplomacy”.

He said the move was aimed to awaken the other parties to the agreement, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), to honor their obligations.

“What Iran gave up was much more than what it received, because the other side, particularly after the U.S. exit from the deal, forgot their obligations,” he lamented.

Under the nuclear accord, Iran was tasked to put limits on its nuclear activities in exchange for termination of economic and financial sanctions.