July 12, 2020

Iran begins the process to enrich 5% uranium in the Fordo plant



Iran began on Wednesday the process to enrich 5% uranium in the Fordo nuclear plant by injecting gas into the centrifuges, as part of the fourth step of reducing its nuclear commitments.

As reported by the local ISNA agency, a tank with about 2,000 kilos of uranium hexafluoride (UF6) has been moved from the Natanz plant to the Fordo plant to inject the gas into the centrifuges.

This process is being carried out in the presence of the inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), responsible for overseeing the Iranian nuclear program.

The head of the Atomic Energy Agency of Iran (AEAI), Ali Akbar Salehí, explained Tuesday night that in Fordo uranium will be enriched "up to 5%", as well as stable isotopes.

The nuclear agreement signed in 2015 between Iran and six major powers, and from which the US withdrew last year, stipulates an enrichment limit of 3.67%, although the Iranian authorities already exceeded that level last July, reaching 4, 5 %.

Regarding the possibilities of Iran carrying out a 20% enrichment, Salehi said that it is not in the plans for now because they have "sufficient" uranium reserves enriched at that level.

In case that reserve is finished, Salehí added that they have the capacity to produce it since in the past in Fordo it was enriched at both 5 and 20%.

These measures occur one day after Iranian President Hasan Rohaní gave the order to the IAEA to begin the injection of UF6 gas into Fordo at 1,044 centrifuges in that plant, a step that also contradicts the nuclear agreement of 2015

This is the fourth step of reducing nuclear commitments taken by Iran, after those adopted last May, July and September, with the aim of pressuring the other signatories of the agreement (Russia, China, France, the United Kingdom and Germany) to that counter US sanctions.

The 2015 pact limits the Iranian nuclear program so that Tehran does not develop the atomic bomb in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions.

The unilateral withdrawal from the US and its reimposition of sanctions, as well as the failure of the other signatories to counter them, have led Iran to gradually breach the pact.

Iran will continue to reduce its commitments until it benefits from the agreement, but has clarified that the steps it has taken so far are "reversible" and that it will return to comply with the agreement as soon as the other party provides its interests.

. (tagsToTranslate) Iran (t) starts (t) process (t) enrich (t) Fordo



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