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Iranian Nuclear Energy: Tehran announces production of 60% enriched uranium

Iran has begun enriching uranium to 60% at its underground Fordow test site, 180 kilometers south of Tehran, state media reported on Tuesday. A statement that could irritate Western powers, including France, who are pushing Tehran to abandon its nuclear developments in order to restart the 2015 Vienna agreement. dead end. since summer.

Iran is already enriching uranium to 60% purity elsewhere, well below the roughly 90% needed to produce weapon-grade material but above the 20% it was producing prior to the 2015 deal. A purity level of 20% allows the production of medical isotopes. used, in particular, in the diagnosis of certain types of cancer.

“In a letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Iran informed the agency that it had begun enriching uranium to 60% purity at the Fordow site using advanced IR-6 centrifuges,” the semi-official ISNA news agency reported. The same information was published by the semi-official news agency Fars. The IAEA’s Board of Governors, which includes representatives from 35 countries, passed a resolution behind closed doors on Thursday directing Iran to urgently cooperate with the agency in investigating traces of uranium found at three undeclared sites.

Iran’s response to IAEA “political” decisions

Iran’s SNN broadcaster reported that Tehran has begun installing new cascades or groups of advanced centrifuges at its nuclear facilities at Natanz and Fordow, adding that it was a “strong response” to the latest IAEA resolution, which Iran’s foreign ministry described as “politically motivated” yesterday. . “.

The Vienna Agreement reached between Iran and the US, Russia, China, France, the UK, Germany and the European Union allowed Tehran to use the first generation IR-1 centrifuges. But since the reversal of Donald Trump in 2018 and the reimposition of US sanctions that are choking the Iranian economy, the Islamic regime has installed more efficient cascades of advanced centrifuges.

In mid-May, the IAEA estimated that Iran was storing 3,809.3 kg of enriched uranium at varying rates, far from the 202.8 kg ceiling it had committed to. Last June, Reuters reported that Tehran was continuing to increase its uranium enrichment, preparing to use IR-6 centrifuges at the Fordow site, which make it easy to switch from one level of enrichment to another.

Source: Le Parisien

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