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5 Jan, 2021 12:49

Iran can produce 8-9 kg of 20%-enriched uranium per month, has plan for more centrifuges to meet 120kg goal – nuclear chief

Iran can produce 8-9 kg of 20%-enriched uranium per month, has plan for more centrifuges to meet 120kg goal – nuclear chief

Iran’s intention to produce 120 kg of uranium enriched to the 20 percent per year level would require boosting its capacity, according to data shared by the country’s nuclear chief.

Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), has given an update on the state of Iran’s nuclear industry on Tuesday. Among other things, he reported that his organization managed to launch the enrichment of uranium to 20 percent level within 24 hours after informing the UN nuclear watchdog about the move.

“We can produce about 17 to 20 grams of enrichment per hour,” Salehi said, adding that this translates into eight to nine kilograms of the product per month.

The AEOI is expected to reach an annual output of 120 kg of 20-percent pure uranium to meet the benchmark set in a law passed by the Iranian parliament in December last year. If maintained at the current level, the goal will apparently not be met, so the AEOI is producing additional centrifuges to boost capacity, Salehi said.

Also on rt.com Iran says it started enriching uranium to 20%, drifting further away from US-violated nuclear deal 

“We will produce a thousand additional IR6 centrifuges within a year,” he pledged. “Now we are preparing the raw materials. President [Hassan Rouhani] has ordered the government to satisfy the financial needs for this development, which are quite high.”

Iran launched the enrichment of uranium to 20 percent level on Monday. The process takes place at an underground facility at Fordow and the final product is supposed to be stockpiled for future use in research nuclear reactors.

The enrichment goes against the terms of a 2015 international deal, which put restrictions on the Iranian nuclear industry in exchange for relief from sanctions and other benefits. The US violated the terms of the agreement in 2018 by imposing unilateral sanctions on Tehran as part of the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure campaign.”

Also on rt.com Israeli PM Netanyahu claims Iran's uranium enrichment to 20 percent is bid to develop nukes

A year after that, Iran started rescinding on its obligations under the deal, doing so to put pressure on European signatories. Tehran says the Europeans have failed to protect it from Washington’s punitive measures and deliver on the promise of new business opportunities that Iran was offered.

The US and Israel claim that Iran wants to create a nuclear weapon and is coming closer to that goal with every step away from the nuclear deal. Iran denies the accusations and says its nuclear program is purely civilian.

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