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News > Iran

Iran to Raise Uranium Enrichment at Natanz Nuclear Site to 60%

  • Iran warned Tuesday it would start enriching uranium up to 60 percent purity, two days after an explosion it blamed on arch-enemy Israel hit its key nuclear facility in Natanz.

    Iran warned Tuesday it would start enriching uranium up to 60 percent purity, two days after an explosion it blamed on arch-enemy Israel hit its key nuclear facility in Natanz. | Photo: Twitter @ArabyOrg

Published 13 April 2021 (23 hours 24 minutes ago)
Opinion

The news of the introduction of over a thousand new centrifuges at the Natanz nuclear site to raise uranium enrichment comes as Tehran increases its nuclear activity in the wake of a reported sabotage attack on the nuclear facility.

Iran has announced the introduction of 1,000 more centrifuges at the Natanz nuclear site, Chief Iranian Nuclear Negotiator Abba Araghchi has said, two days after an explosion hit the compound.

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The Natanz site was allegedly targeted by a cyberattack involving Israel's foreign intelligence service Mossad, according to a report by Israel´s Kan channel, based on intelligence sources.

According to the IRNA news agency, the Persian country also started raising uranium enrichment to 60 percent on Tuesday, citing Iran's deputy foreign minister, who also said Tehran had informed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) about the move, Press TV said.

The Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI) reported the Natanz facility incident and said it involved its electricity distribution network last Sunday. AEOI Chief Ali Akbar Salehi described the incident as "nuclear terrorism." The Iranian authorities later said all damaged centrifuges would be replaced with better ones.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif recently vowed revenge on Israel but noted that the act of "nuclear terrorism and a war crime," as he described the incident, would not prompt Tehran to pull out the talks. “The Zionists want to take revenge because of our progress in the way to lift sanctions.… We will not fall into their trap… We will not allow this act of sabotage to affect the nuclear talks.… But we will take our revenge against the Zionists,” Zarif was quoted as saying by Iranian media.

Iran has gone ahead with its uranium enrichment program beyond the limits set as part of the 2015 JCPOA after the Trump administration unilaterally pulled the U.S. out of the pact and re-imposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic in 2018. Iran said it was ready to recommit to the deal if Washington scrapped the restrictions but refused to renegotiate its terms.

Iran signed the JCPOA with China, France, Germany, Russia, the UK, the U.S., and the EU. It required Tehran to curb its nuclear program and downgrade its uranium reserves in exchange for sanctions relief.

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