Iran has quadrupled its production of low-enriched uranium, just two weeks after threatening to gradually scale back its commitments under the 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers, according to reports by semi-official Fars and Tasnim news agencies on Monday.
The state-run IRNA news agency later quoted Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, as acknowledging that capacity had been quadrupled. Kamalvandi said Iran had informed the International Atomic Energy Agency of the development.
“This issue does not mean that there is an increase in the purity of the material or that there’s an increase in the number of centrifuge machines or that there’s a change in the type of centrifuges,” Kamalvandi said, according to the Tasnim report.
Fars and Tasnim both reported that the production is of uranium enriched only to the 3.67 percent limit set by the 2015 nuclear deal, far below the 20% to which Iran was enriching before the deal or the 90% required to produce nuclear weapons. However, a quadrupling of production would mean that Iran likely will soon go beyond the stockpile limitation of 300 kilograms set by the deal.
[Sources: i24News, Times of Israel, Bloomberg, CBC]