On Friday, Iranian state TV reported that Iran’s stocks of 60 percent enriched uranium increased to 25 kilograms. The report is based on the remarks of Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesperson for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran.
Giving place to Kamalvandi’s statements, Iranian media noted, “So far we have produced 25 kilograms of 60 percent uranium, which, except for countries with nuclear weapons, no other country is able to produce.”
The move was considered as a development that has the potential to undermine the stalled nuclear talks between Tehran and world powers. Just a few days ago, the parties of the deal announced that they had reached an agreement to restart Vienna talks on November 29.
Western sides have insisted that Iran must halt its nuclear advancement, which is close to weapons-grade.
In response, Iran has not accepted the Western allegations and said that its uranium enrichment program is only for civilian energy uses. Tehran has also stated that its nuclear advancement is reversible in case of the US halts sanctions and turns back to the agreement.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN nuclear watchdog body, reported in April that Iran had begun the uranium enrichment process to 60 percent purity at a nuclear plant at Natanz.
Iranian officials confirmed in June that it had increased its stockpile of 60 percent enriched uranium to 6.5 kilograms.
The 2015 nuclear deal, officially the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), regulates that Tehran can only produce uranium at 3.67 percent purity. The US withdrawal from the agreement in 2018, under the Trump administration, triggered Tehran to breach the limits that the deal puts forward.
Following the breach of the deal, Tehran firstly produced uranium at 20 percent and then reached 60 percent.
Meanwhile, Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi stated that his country would not take steps backward in nuclear talks, which agreed to be restarted on November 29.
Raisi said, “The negotiations we are considering are result-oriented ones. We will not leave the negotiating table… but we will not retreat from the interests of our nation in any way.”