News ID: 303357
Published: 0646 GMT May 24, 2021

Iran continues 60% uranium enrichment in line with parliament's law: AEOI chief

Iran continues 60% uranium enrichment in line with parliament's law: AEOI chief

The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) said Tehran continues to enrich uranium to 60 percent purity level as talks between the country and the remaining signatories to a landmark nuclear deal clinched in 2015 continue in the Austrian capital, Vienna.

"Uranium enrichment at 60%, 20% and 5% purity levels still continues [by Iran] and our stockpiles of the 20% enriched uranium stand at over 90 kilograms," Ali-Akbar Salehi said on Monday, according to Press TV.

Based on a law approved by Iran's Parliament, the country is scheduled to produce 120 kilograms of enriched uranium with a 20-percent purity level per year, the Iranian nuclear chief said, adding that the figure now stood at 90 kilograms after some four months.

Last December, Iranian lawmakers overwhelmingly voted in favor of the Strategic Action Plan to Counter Sanctions.

The law tasked the AEOI with producing and storing at least 120 kilograms of enriched uranium with a 20-percent purity level every year and raising enrichment beyond 20 percent according to the country's needs.

Salehi said Iran has also stockpiled over 2.5 kilograms of 60 percent enriched uranium and over five tons of five percent enriched uranium, emphasizing that the country's nuclear activities still continue.

Under US former president Donald Trump, Washington withdrew from the landmark nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in May 2018. Trump also initiated a “maximum pressure” policy against Iran, prompting Tehran to take remedial measures by gradually reducing its nuclear commitments under the deal.

Tehran responded to the US noncompliance through taking a series of remedial measures envisaged in the nuclear deal if in case the other side did not observe its obligations.

Iran has insisted that it would observe its commitments only after the US removed all its sanctions in one step and Tehran could verify that.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Salehi pointed to the end of a three-month deadline which was given by Iran to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on inspection of the country's nuclear sites and the Islamic Republic's decision to extend the agreement by one month and said Tehran decided to continue recording data for one more month amid the ongoing Vienna talks on the revival of the JCPOA.

Iran informed IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi of its decision on Monday, he noted.

The AEOI chief expressed hope that the Vienna talks would result in an acceptable outcome by the end of the new deadline.

The new agreement between Iran and the UN nuclear agency was announced by Iran’s Representative to the international organizations in Vienna Kazem Gharibabadi and by the IAEA’s director general earlier on Monday in an interview with reporters through a press conference in the Austrian capital.

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