Iran claims to have enriched 17 kilograms of uranium

Iran satellite

dpa/GNA – The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) has enriched 17 kilograms of uranium metal, Iran’s parliamentary speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf said on Thursday.

The Iranian parliament issued a law in November under which Iran should produce 120 kilograms of uranium enriched to a level of up to 20 per cent and install new centrifuges, despite violating the 2015 nuclear deal.

“We thank the AEOI for producing 17 kilograms of 20-per-cent uranium in only one month and installing some of the new IR2M centrifuges,” Ghalibaf said in comments carried by news agency ISNA.

This was in line with the timetable set out be the new nuclear law, Ghalibaf was reported as saying while visiting the Fordo nuclear plant.

AEOI has not yet confirmed the information.

The new law also foresees Iran leaving the additional protocol of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and limiting the access of UN inspectors to Iranian nuclear plants.

The law violates the Vienna nuclear deal – meant to curb Iran’s nuclear programme in exchange for lifting economic sanctions – in all respects.

The law was implemented despite opposition from the AEOI and President Hassan Rowhani, who believes it will impede efforts to revive the nuclear deal now that US President Joe Biden is in office.

Former US president Donald Trump left the deal in 2018 and reimposed sanctions on Iran. Tehran in turn started progressively violating the deal’s provisions.

Rowhani hopes to salvage the deal and the Iranian economy, which has been suffering one of its worst recessions due to the sanctions.

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