Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Iran Quadruples Production of Low-Enriched Uranium

Iran Quadruples Production of Low-Enriched Uranium

Monday, 20 May, 2019 - 17:45
A security official stands in front of the Bushehr nuclear reactor. (Reuters file photo)
Asharq Al-Awsat

Iran announced on Monday that it has quadrupled its production of low-enriched uranium amid tensions with the US over Tehran's unraveling nuclear accord, two semi-official news agencies reported.

While the reports said the production is of uranium enriched only to the 3.67 percent limit set by the 2015 nuclear deal that Tehran reached with world powers, it means that Iran soon will go beyond the stockpile limitations established by the accord.

This follows days of heightened tensions sparked by the Trump administration's deployment of bombers and an aircraft carrier to the Arabian Gulf over threats from Iran.

Both the semi-official Fars and Tasnim news agencies reported on the quadrupled production quoting Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesmen of Iran's nuclear agency. He said the increase in production of 3.67 percent enriched uranium does not mean Iran increased the number of centrifuges it has in use, another requirement of the deal.

He said Iran "in weeks" would reach the 300-kilogram limit set by the nuclear deal.

Kamalvandi said Iran had informed the International Atomic Energy Agency about its move. The IAEA did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.

Editor Picks