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11 Nov, 2019 18:39

Iran begins enriching 12 times as much uranium, in further departure from nuclear deal that US ditched

Iran begins enriching 12 times as much uranium, in further departure from nuclear deal that US ditched

Tehran has radically ratcheted up its production of low-enriched uranium after rebooting production at two facilities. The uptick comes as Iran moves further away from the 2015 nuclear deal that was ditched by the US last year.

Iran is now producing at least 5.5 kilograms (12 pounds) of low-enriched uranium per day, Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, told journalists on Monday, as cited by AP. Previously Tehran had been producing a mere 450 grams (1 pound) each day.

The increase is the result of Iran restarting production at two of its facilities, Natanz and Fordo. The move is the latest in a series taken by Iran this year in response to the US abandoning the deal in May 2018.

Also on rt.com Iran cancels accreditation of UN nuclear inspector as it restarts uranium enrichment

However, the uranium is currently only enriched up to 4.5 percent, far below weapons-grade levels of 90 percent. At the same time, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that saving the nuclear deal would be a “huge political, defensive and security goal” for his country.

Although initially in full compliance with the agreement, Tehran has begun to scale back its commitments following Washington’s decision to unilaterally exit the deal last year. Iran has urged European signatories to salvage the accord and bypass a new sanctions regime imposed by the United States. Europe, however, has been unwilling to skirt the Trump administration’s hardline stance on the Islamic Republic.

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