Dubai, United Arab Emirates (AP) —Iran’s president called Tehran’s decision to enrich uranium by up to 60% after a sabotage attack on a nuclear site on Wednesday as “the answer to your evil.” The case was linked to ongoing talks on a tattered nuclear deal in Vienna. With the power of the world.
Israel, which has not commented on the attack, is suspected of carrying out an attack this weekend at the Natanz nuclear facility, which is part of an intensifying shadow war between the two countries.
The escalation of enrichment may see further retaliation, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to never allow Tehran to obtain nuclear weapons. His country has preemptively bombed Middle Eastern countries twice to stop their atomic program.
The ardent President Hassan Rouhani told the Cabinet that the Natanz-damaged first-generation IR-1 centrifuge would be replaced by an advanced IR-6 centrifuge that would significantly accelerate uranium enrichment.
“You want to empty our hands during the meeting, but our hands are full,” Rouhani said.
He added: “60% enrichment is the answer to your evil …. one is an IR-6 centrifuge and the other is 60%, with both hands cut off.”
Iran announced on Tuesday that it would enrich uranium to the highest level ever in response to a weekend attack in Natanz. This includes adding an additional 1,000 “more advanced” centrifuges.
Authorities initially said enrichment would begin on Wednesday. However, an early Wednesday morning tweet from the Iranian envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Kazem Garibadadi, suggested that it might come later. He writes that enrichment is only processed by two cascades of Natanz IR-4 and IR-6 centrifuges. Cascade is a group of centrifuges that work together to concentrate uranium more quickly.
“The process changes are just beginning and we plan to accumulate products next week,” wrote Gharibadadi.
Iran claims that the nuclear program is peaceful, but the West and the IAEA state that Tehran had an organized military nuclear program until the end of 2003. weapon.
The US annual intelligence report released on Tuesday maintained the US reputation that “Iran is not currently engaged in any major nuclear weapons development activity that we determine is necessary to manufacture nuclear weapons.”
The talks in Vienna aim to revive America’s role in the agreement abandoned by former President Donald Trump and lift the sanctions he imposed. Rouhani said in a comment Wednesday that Iran is still seeking a negotiated settlement in Vienna for the program.
“The United States should return to the same situation as in 2015, when it signed the nuclear deal,” Rouhani said.
Iran has previously stated that up to 60% enriched uranium can be used on nuclear ships. However, the Islamic Republic currently does not have such a ship in its Navy. The IAEA confirmed that Iran has announced plans to enrich up to 60%.
Iran has been enriched up to 20%, but it was still a short technical step to 90% of the weapons grade level.
The weekend attack in Natanz was initially described only as a power outage in the power grid that powers above-ground workshops and underground enrichment halls, but later Iranian authorities began calling it an attack.
“Thousands of centrifuges have been damaged and destroyed,” Alireza Jahanbakni, a hardline chief of the Iranian Parliament’s Research Center, said in a state television interview. However, other officials have not provided that number and no images of the aftermath have been released.
Associated Press writer Nacelle Karimi in Tehran, Iran contributed to this report.