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March 6, 2018 12:23 pm

Iran Says It Can Produce Higher Enriched Uranium in Less Than Two Days

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An IAEA inspector at an Iranian nuclear facility. Photo: IAEA.

Iran said on Monday it could produce higher enriched uranium within two days if the United States quit a 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and six major powers, Tehran’s Arabic language al-Alam TV reported.

“If America pulls out of the deal … Iran could resume its 20 percent uranium enrichment in less than 48 hours,” Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, told al-Alam TV.

Uranium refined to 20 percent fissile purity is well beyond the 5 percent normally required to fuel civilian nuclear power plants, though still well short of highly enriched, or 80-90 percent, purity needed for a nuclear bomb.

Kamalvandi said the deal — under which Iran curbed its uranium enrichment to help ensure it was for peaceful purposes only and secured an end to financial sanctions in return — is not re-negotiable, as demanded by the United States. The deal’s European signatories — Germany, Britain and France, as well as Russia and China — are committed to preserving the agreement.

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