Tehran Starts Enriching Uranium Beyond 3.67% Level
Tehran Starts Enriching Uranium Beyond 3.67% Level
TEHRAN - Iran on Sunday officially announced the beginning of the second phase of the reduction of its commitments under the Iran nuclear deal, boosting the level of its uranium enrichment to a level beyond the 3.67% limit set by the JCPOA.

The decision was announced by Iranian Government Spokesman Ali Rabiei in a press conference also attended by Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Seyed Abbas Araqchi and the spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Behrouz Kamalvandi.


“Today we will surpass the 3.67% limit on uranium enrichment. The purity level will be based on our need, and that will be officially realized today,” Rabiei said.

Araqchi said the second phase begins as the 60-day deadline Iran had given the other JCPOA parties is over without Iran’s demands being fulfilled.

“As we announced in the first phase, we will longer remain committed to the uranium enrichment level, and this will be announced to EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini in a letter by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif today,” Araqchi said.

Araqchi also said that the United States can take part in the meetings of the signatories to the Iran nuclear deal — from which Washington has withdrawn — on the condition that it lifts sanctions against the country’s oil and banking sectors.

Along with two other senior officials, Araqchi detailed Iran’s latest move in scaling back its commitments under the deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), after the European signatories missed a 60-day deadline to offset the adverse impacts of the unilateral US pullout.

“The U.S. has withdrawn from the JCPOA and cannot use any of its mechanisms, but it can attend the the P4+1 meetings on the said conditions. Our first condition [for the U.S.] is [the lifting of] oil and banking sanctions. Other sanctions would be considered as well,” Araqchi, who was a senior negotiator in the talks that led to the JCPOA, said in his Sunday remarks.

He stressed, however, that the deal would under no circumstances be renegotiated and that it should be implemented precisely as it is.

Araqchi said there would be diplomatic visits in the coming days, including in the form of a JCPOA ministerial meeting.

“We do not want trips that serve as political shows; we want ones that get things done toward rectifying the present situation regarding the JCPOA,” he said.

He went on to say that the government has told all Iranian organizations not to pin hope on the European financial mechanism, known as INSTEX, which was meant to facilitate trade with Tehran under the US sanctions.

He further noted that the Islamic Republic has pinned no hope and reliance on any special country, but it will use every opportunity and capacity in the present situation.

“In this economic warfare launched by Donald Trump, we will try every path and our main channels are China, Russia, Turkey, India, and neighbors.”

Araqchi said Iran has new economic interactions and plenty of initiatives with all of them. “One of these routes is Europe and one of them is INSTEX.”

“We have worked very well in foreign policy and we have good partners. So many good things have been carried out in the neighborhood, and we would not let the United States reach its goals. We will certainly make the U.S. disappointed, and this time they will be disappointed through our economic and defense capabilities and Washington will have to back off at the end,” concluded Araqchi.

Kamalvandi also noted that the country needs enriched uranium for its power plants, research, and propulsion, which need various levels of enrichment.

“What we’re doing today is meant to provide the enrichment level we need for the fuel of our power plants, and the level of enrichment can go up based on the orders we get,” he noted.

“The amount of our enriched uranium stockpiles is also increasing and the pace of increase is growing,” he added.

He also noted that the country “does not need the fuel of Tehran research reactor for now, but it can go to that point whenever it wants.

Iran’s announcement came after its 60-day deadline to Europe to compensate for the US’ withdrawal from the accord came to an end. Tehran says the decision has been enshrined in the nuclear deal and is in accordance with articles 26 and 36 of the nuclear deal.

  • source : Iran news