Iran Notifies United Nations of Plans to Enrich Uranium to 20%

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(Bloomberg) — Iran has informed the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog that it may start enriching uranium to levels well above those allowed under the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal, the semi-official Iranian Students’ News Agency reported.

The Islamic Republic submitted a letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency as its official notice that it may produce 20% enriched uranium after the country passed a law calling for the measure, Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, said, according to ISNA.

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The nuclear accord places strict limits of 3.67% on the purity level of enriched uranium Iran is permitted to produce. The country breached the cap in response to U.S. President Donald Trump abandoning the nuclear agreement, and other partners were unable to offer relief from U.S. sanctions.

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Iran tells UN it will enrich more uranium in further breach

Fordow was built inside a mountain, apparently to protect it from aerial bombardment, and the 2015 deal does not allow enrichment there.


Iran has breached the deal’s 3.67 per cent limit on the purity to which it can enrich uranium, but it has only gone up to 4.5 per cent so far, well short of the 20 per cent it achieved before the deal and the 90 per cent that is weapons-grade.

The deal’s main aim was to extend the time Iran would need to produce enough fissile material for a nuclear bomb, if it chose to, to at least a year from roughly two to three months. It also lifted international sanctions against Tehran.

U.S. intelligence agencies and the IAEA believe Iran had a secret, coordinated nuclear weapons programme that it halted in 2003. Iran denies ever having had one.

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