Iran Says 60% Enrichment is Answer to Israel's 'Nuclear Terrorism'
Iran Says 60% Enrichment is Answer to Israel's 'Nuclear Terrorism'
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif appreciated Pakistan’s positive role in promoting regional stability
14 April, 2021, 20:22
As for Iran rolling back its violations of the deal, President Rouhani has said this would take no time at all, and that it would be a matter of loosening a few screws and tightening a few more.
Iran's announcement of stepped-up enrichment, made Tuesday, has cast a shadow over talks in Vienna aimed at salvaging the tattered 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers that then USA president Donald Trump abandoned three years ago.
United States intelligence officials told the New York Times that a large explosion completely destroyed the power system that supplied an underground hall at Natanz where uranium hexafluoride gas was fed into centrifuges to separate out the most suitable isotope for nuclear fission, called U-235.
The electricity distribution network of Iran's Natanz nuclear power plant suffered from a blackout on 11 April, with the Islamic Republic's leadership later denouncing the incident as "nuclear terrorism" and blaming the alleged attack on Israel. "What we do is legal". Speaking last week on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day, he said Israel would defend itself with its own resources.
Rouhani noted that Iran's security bodies were yet to provide a final report but that the incident appeared to be "Zionists' crime".
The renewed talks come as tensions remain high with Israel and other Arabs states, and as the International Atomic Energy Agency continues to chart Iran's growing nuclear advances.
The three countries are parties to a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, under which it is permitted to enrich uranium up to 3.67% purity to make reactor fuel.
This is a serious development since the production of highly enriched uranium constitutes an important step in the production of a nuclear weapon.
World powers don't trust Iran: Some countries believe Iran wants nuclear power because it wants to build a nuclear bomb - it denies this.
Meanwhile, the United Kingdom, France and Germany - the "E3" group of European powers - have expressed concern over Iran's decision.
Abbas Araqchi, the Iranian deputy foreign minister, told Press TV that Iran will begin 60% uranium enrichment starting tomorrow.
The accord, agreed when Biden was vice president to Barack Obama, promised Tehran relief from punishing sanctions in return for agreeing to limits on its nuclear programme.
The talks are aimed at bringing Iran and the United States back into compliance with the deal, which would mean putting a stop to Iran's march towards advanced nuclear capability, and the lifting of USA sanctions that have crippled the Iranian economy, hitting a nation of almost 85 million people hard.
The Iranian government asserts that the blast was an act of terrorism perpetrated by Israel.
"This act of sabotage damaged not only Natanz, but also the Biden administration's plan to return to compliance with the nuclear deal", said Kelsey Davenport, director for nonproliferation policy at the Arms Control Association, a Washington think tank.
Up to this point, Iran has not enriched uranium higher than 20%. Gharibabadi said in his tweet that the new material "will improve significantly both the quality and quantity of radiopharmaceutical products".
Iran began producing 20%-enriched uranium in January as part of its response to the USA sanctions reinstated by former President Donald Trump when he abandoned the accord three years ago. Iran has no credible civilian need for enrichment at this level.
This could complicate efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.
Talks are ongoing right now and this is likely a negotiating tactic.
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