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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

People's Daily Online

Iran plans to start 60-pct uranium enrichment: media

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 09:48, April 14, 2021

Iran vows to enrich uranium with 60-percent purity at Natanz nuclear plant and install 1,000 more advanced centrifuges, in response to a suspected Israeli cyberattack.

TEHRAN, April 13 (Xinhua) -- Iran has informed the International Atomic Energy Agency of its plan to enrich uranium at 60-percent purity following the attack on its Natanz nuclear facility, Iranian news network Press TV reported Tuesday, citing Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi.

Iran will soon replace the centrifuges damaged in a recent act of sabotage at Natanz, Araqchi was quoted as saying.

Also, Iran will install an additional 1,000 centrifuges with 50 percent higher enrichment capacity at the nuclear facility, said Araqchi, who leads the Iranian negotiating team in the Vienna talks with the representatives from Britain, China, France, Russia, and Germany.

Besides, Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, said that the preparations for producing 60-percent uranium enrichment will begin on Tuesday night at the Natanz enrichment site, semi-official FARS news agency reported.

The uranium at the purity of 60 percent is used in the production of radiopharmaceutical, Kamalvandi told FARS.

Under the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran was allowed to enrich uranium only up to a 3.67-percent of purity and its stockpile should not be more than 300 kilograms.

However, in a response to the U.S. withdrawal from the deal and imposition of sanctions, Iran on Jan. 4 this year started to produce uranium enrichment to 20 percent of purity and the AEOI announced on April 3 that its stockpile has hit 50 kg.

According to the Iranian parliament's Strategic Action Plan to Counter Sanctions, the country should produce 120 kg of 20-percent enriched uranium within a year.

Iran's Natanz uranium enrichment facility on Sunday faced an accident which the Iranian authorities called an act of sabotage plotted by Israel.

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