The Strategist

Low-enriched uranium production jumps in Iran

05/21/2019 - 10:59

Iranian authorities have sharply increased production of low-enriched uranium.

Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization official Behrouz Kamalvandi reported an increase in production of low-enriched uranium four times, also stating that a notification was sent to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

According to Fars and Tasnim news agencies, during a press conference in Tehran on Monday, May 20, the official said that Iran does not plan to leave the "Joint Comprehensive Action Plan on the nuclear program." At the same time, he noted that the deal provides Iran with opportunities for the production of uranium with an enrichment of 3.67% up to a volume of 300 kg. According to Kamalvandi, Iran will reach a volume of 300 kg of low-enriched uranium "within 60 days."

Within the agreement concluded in 2015, the Iranian authorities pledged not to produce weapons-grade plutonium, and also for the next 15 years to limit production and storage of uranium enriched to 3.67% in an amount not exceeding 300 kg. The country's nuclear facilities should also be used only for peaceful purposes.

It’s been a year after the Trump administration’s left the agreement with Iran on May 8, 2018 and new sanctions against the Islamic Republic were announced. On May 8, 2019, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani announced a waiver of a number of obligations, particularly in terms of acceptable amounts of enriched uranium and heavy water.

Tehran, warned about the possibility of other steps in the event that the signatories of the deal, represented by European countries, do not confirm their commitment to maintain the agreement. In particular, they hinted at withdrawing from the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.