Senior Iranian nuclear official says enrichment level currently at 4.5%

TEHRAN, Jul. 08 (MNA) – A day after announcing the decision to increase uranium enrichment, Iran’s atomic organization spokesman said that the country is now enriching uranium at 4.5% level.

The spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), Behrooz Kamalvandi said at Shahid Ahmadi Roshan nuclear facility in Natanz, Isfahan province on Monday afternoon that the IAEA representatives stationed at Isfahan site will report the increase in uranium enrichment level after taking samples at Natanz site to the international body later today.

Kamalvandi said that “right now, the level of uranium enrichment has increased from 3.67% to 4.5%.”

Earlier today, the spokesman said that 20% uranium enrichment is one of the options that Iran may resort to in the third phase of countermeasures to reduce JCPOA commitments in the face of other parties’ lack of action to live up to their commitments under the deal.

During a press conference in Tehran yesterday, at the end of Iran’s 60-day deadline to the European countries, the spokesman announced the second phase of Iran’s retaliatory measures under the deal and said that uranium enrichment level would surpass the 3.67% limit.

Iran insists that the reductions in commitments do not violate the nuclear deal, but they are based on paragraphs 26 and 36 of the agreement.

“Having failed to implement their obligations under JCPOA—incl after US withdrawal—EU/E3 should at minimum politically support Iran’s remedial measures under Para 36, incl at IAEA. E3 have no pretexts to avoid a firm political stance to preserve JCPOA & counter US unilateralism,” Foreign Minister Zarif tweeted on Sunday after Iran's announcement.

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