Iran able to enrich uranium to 20% within four minutes: nuclear chief

TEHRAN, Nov. 05 (MNA) – Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi said Mon. the country could enrich uranium up to 20 percent “within four minutes”.

He made the remark in answer to Mehr correspondent asking how long the AEOI needed to reach 20% level in uranium enrichment following the collapse of the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“I hope that we will never reach that point,” where we will have to enrich uranium up to 20 percent, the Iranian nuclear chief said Monday.

“But once senior officials order for the 20% enrichment, we could obtain it within four minutes,” Salehi added.

The AEOI head was answering questions in a press conference at Natanz Nuclear Facility following the Monday ceremony marking the injection of gas into advanced IR-6 centrifuges.

“At the present time, we have 60 IR-6 centrifuge machines, every one of which has a capacity of 10 SWU (separative work units) that increased the existing [uranium enrichment] capacity by a total capacity of 600 SWU,” Salehi said during the ceremony.

“This is a place for research and development. The number of centrifuges installed at this place in a matter of two months is 15 new-generation centrifuges, which is a great achievement… Our colleagues at the AEOI have been always active and if they had slowed down their activities, we would not have been able to add 2,600 SWU [of enrichment capacity] to the capacity that we already had," he added.

The event took place a few days before Iran’s 60-day deadline for its fourth JCPOA step runs out.

One year after the US withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran announced in May 2019 that it is reducing commitments to JCPOA in a transparent manner and according to Paragraphs 26 and 36 of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Tehran has so far taken three steps, highlighting that all its measures are reversible as soon as other parties can shield its economy from damages of US unilateral sanctions.

The European signatories to the JCPOA have so far failed to uphold their commitments. They have expressed vocal support for the deal but failed to provide meaningful economic incentives as required under the nuclear agreement.

MNA/4763654

News Code 151950

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