The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran said Iran has produced more than 120 kg of 20% enriched uranium.
Tehran, Iran – Iran has produced more than 120 kilograms (265 pounds) of 20 percent enriched uranium, according to its nuclear chief, a huge increase from the world’s nuclear watchdog’s latest report.
In an interview broadcast on state television on Saturday evening, Iranian Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI) President Mohammad Eslami said he had more than complied with a December law of parliament. which required the production of 120 kilograms of 20% enriched uranium in one year.
“We have passed the 120 kilogram figure and in this regard we are ahead of schedule,” he said.
Eslami said Tehran’s research reactor was supposed to receive fuel from other parties to the country’s 2015 nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), but it was not delivered. .
“If we hadn’t started producing so much fuel ourselves, this problem would have become one of the problems today,” he said.
In a report released last month, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Iran’s stockpile of 20% enriched uranium stood at over 84 kilograms (185 pounds), up from 62.8 kilograms (138 pounds) three months ago.
Advancing the nuclear program
Under the terms of the JCPOA – which the United States unilaterally abandoned in 2018, leading Iran to gradually reduce its own commitments – Iran was to cap uranium enrichment at 3.67%, with the exception of its research reactor activities.
Sabotage attacks on Iranian nuclear sites and the November assassination of a leading nuclear scientist – which Iran blamed on Israel – prompted the extremist parliament to ratify a new law, which calls for an intensification of nuclear activity until the lifting of US sanctions.
Iran has since started enriching uranium up to 60%, used more centrifuges, produced uranium metal, and built more advanced centrifuges.
Western powers and Israel say they fear Iran is rushing for a nuclear bomb, but Iranian officials maintain they never looked for a nuclear weapon.
“The production of uranium metal can be seen as a danger in the eyes of Americans, but we will do what is necessary for our national interests,” Eslami said in Saturday’s interview.
No access to Karaj installation
The nuclear chief also highlighted a disagreement between Iran and the IAEA last month over a deal reached in Tehran that would allow inspectors to maintain surveillance cameras at nuclear sites and replace their memory cards. .
Eslami said after Iran insisted it would not grant access to a site in Karaj that was the subject of a sabotage attack earlier this year, the agency did not did not follow up on the matter.
The nuclear watchdog had previously said it needed access to the site to replace surveillance equipment damaged or destroyed in the attack on the facility.
The IAEA “has not taken a position or condemned the terrorist operation on this site, which practically encourages these terrorist attacks,” he said, adding that the site continues to be the subject of judicial investigations and safe.
US and European powers parties to the nuclear deal continue to call on Iran to return to Vienna to resume talks aimed at restoring the JCPOA.
Senior officials in President Ebrahim Raisi’s administration have said they are reviewing the records of six rounds of negotiations that ended in late July and will return to the Austrian capital soon. But they also said they would only engage in negotiations that will lead to the lifting of US sanctions.