Next option is 20 per cent uranium enrichment: Iran

Iran on Monday warned that its next step in reducing commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal will be stronger, with a senior nuclear official saying that 20 per cent uranium enrichment was an option.

Spokesman for Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation Behrouz Kamalvandi said that Tehran has passed the 3.67 per cent uranium enrichment cap set by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and might enrich at even higher levels, reports the state-run Press TV.

Monday’s development comes after Iran on Sunday announced it would raise its uranium enrichment level beyond the 3.67 per cent leve.

Kamalvandi said the enrichment levels would stand at 5 per cent.

Iran needs 5 per cent uranium enrichment for its Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant and 20 per cent enrichment for Tehran research reactor.

Last week, Iran had exceeded the limit of 300 kg on its low-enriched uranium reserve set in the JCPOA.

The 2015 agreement signed with Iran along with Russia, China, France and the UK, placed strict limits on Tehran’s nuclear program in order to prevent the country from building nuclear weapons, in return for lifting sanctions that had strangled its economy.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on May 8 warned his country would begin to withdraw from key aspects of the agreement if global powers failed to keep their commitments within the next 60 days.