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Iran says only 5 days needed to ramp up uranium enrichment

AP — Iranian state television is quoting the country’s atomic chief as saying the Islamic Republic would need only five days to ramp up its uranium enrichment to 20 percent — a level at which the material could start to be used for a nuclear weapon.

State TV’s website on Tuesday quoted Ali Akbar Salehi as saying: “If we make the determination, we are able to resume 20 percent-enrichment in at most five days.”

Iran gave up the majority of its stockpile of 20-percent enriched uranium as part of the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

The nuclear deal, which lifted sanctions on Iran, currently caps the Islamic Republic’s uranium enrichment at under 5 percent.

Iran long has said its nuclear program is for peaceful purpose.