Iran has begun uranium enrichment at its ground-based nuclear power plant in Natanz, raising the purity of fissile material to 60%. This is the highest level ever. Confirmed on Saturday by the United Nations Nuclear Monitoring Agency.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed the announcement by Iranian authorities on Friday that it had begun a plant enrichment process.
“Today, Iran will supply up to 60% of UF6 enriched with up to 5% U-235 to two cascades of Natanz pilots IR-4 centrifuges and IR-6 centrifuges at the same time. We have confirmed that we have started production of UF6 enriched with U-235. A fuel enrichment plant, “a UN observer told Reuters in a statement.
UF6 is uranium hexafluoride, which is a form of supplying uranium to a centrifuge for concentration.
Reuters also cited part of the IAEA’s internal report to Member States detailing the enrichment process.
“According to the Iranian Declaration to the Agency, the enrichment level of UF6 produced by PFEP was 55.3% U-235. The Agency is for destructive analysis to independently verify the enrichment level declared by Iran. We took a sample of UF6 produced in Iran. The results of this analysis will be reported by the agency in due course, “the report said.
The move is a major step towards weapons-grade uranium production and is undergoing complex negotiations aimed at reviving a nuclear deal with Iran’s great powers. Weapons grade level is 90%.
Iran previously reached only 20% purity, but it is already a breach of contract and states that Iran can only concentrate to 3.67%.
Iran has taken up to 60 percent of the steps in response to an explosion that damaged equipment at a larger underground fuel enrichment plant in Natanz. Tehran blamed Israel and nominated the man he wanted in connection with the blast.
President Joe Biden said the move would be useless on Friday, but the United States will continue discussions on compliance with the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which Iran is commonly known as Iran’s core. He added that he was “happy” to agree. A deal withdrawn by former President Donald Trump in 2018.
“I don’t support Iran’s statement that it will be enriched to 60%, and I don’t think it’s useful at all,” Biden said in a joint press conference with Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga in Washington.
“Nevertheless, Iran engages in indirect discussions between us and our partners about how we move forward and what we need to return to. I am glad that I continue to agree with. [nuclear deal] … We don’t make concessions that we don’t want without, “the president added.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of State said the Byden administration was unilateral to bring Iran back to the table of negotiations on a nuclear deal with six major countries that Iran and Tehran had agreed to limit nuclear development programs in return for mitigation. Of repeated US and other economic sanctions that do not provide incentives.
The agreement made it difficult for Iran’s atomic program to be used to produce nuclear weapons, Tehran’s denial of ambition. Trump withdrew the United States from trading in 2018 and imposed sanctions on Iran, saying the United States “will not be held hostage by nuclear blackmail” at the time. He called it “a flaw in its core” and “a terrifying one-sided deal.”
Reuters contributed to this report.