Iran to inform IAEA of process to boost uranium enrichment capacity: ISNA news agency

Vastavam web: Iran will inform the U.N. nuclear watchdog in Vienna on Tuesday over its start of a process to increase the country’s uranium enrichment capacity, Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi told ISNA news agency. He said Iran had the capacity to accelerate production of centrifuges, which are used to enrich uranium. The UF6 is a feedstock for centrifuges.

Iran’s ultimate authority Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Monday he had ordered preparations to increase uranium enrichment capacity if a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers falls apart after the U.S. withdrawal from it last month. European signatories of the accord back the deal but have concerns over Iran’s ballistic missile programme and its influence in the Middle East. Iran says the two issues are non-negotiable. In exchange, Iran received relief from sanctions, most of which were rescinded in January 2016.

The deal allows Iran to continue 3.67 percent uranium enrichment, far below the roughly 90 percent threshold of weapons-grade. Before the deal was reached, Tehran enriched uranium to up to 20 percent purity. Since President Donald Trump’s announcement of the U.S. exit on May 8, EU leaders have pledged to try to keep Iran’s oil trade and investment flowing but admitted that will not be easy to do.