Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani stated that his country can enrich uranium up to 90% purity, if it is needed. The statement came during the Iranian President’s remarks following the session of the Council of Ministers. Commenting on the Iranian nuclear program, Rouhani said, “Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization can enrich uranium by 20% and 60%, and if one day our reactor needs it, it can enrich uranium to 90% purity,” stressing that it would be in peaceful purpose.
90% uranium enrichment is the level used to produce nuclear weapons. Yet, Rouhani added that his country still favors the revival of the 2015 nuclear agreement and ready to limit its nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of sanctions.
Touching upon the US sanctions imposed on Iran, Rouhani said that nuclear regulations, which the Iranian Assembly enacted in November 2020 despite the government’s all objections, delay the lifting of sanctions. The outgoing Iranian President also implicitly criticized Iran’s Supreme Leader for “not allowing” his government to finalize the talks to revive the nuclear deal within his term in office.
According to the state news agency, IRNA, Rouhani said, “They took away the opportunity to reach an agreement from this government. We are sorry to miss this opportunity.” Rouhani will hand over his duties to the newly elected hardline cleric Ebrahim Raisi on August 5.
Since April, Iran and P5+1 countries have engaged in negotiations aimed at ensuring the return of both Washington and Tehran to their commitments under the JCPOA. The sixth round of the talks was completed two days after Raisi had been elected as Iran’s new president. In his first press conference, Raisi stated that he supported the ongoing talks. The next round of negotiations has not been scheduled yet.
On Monday, US State Department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters that “We’re not imposing a deadline on these talks, but… we are conscious that as time proceeds, Iran’s nuclear advances will have a bearing on our view of ultimately returning to the JCPOA.”