Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium, number of centrifuges growing: Official

Tasnim – The growing stockpile of enriched uranium in Iran and the increasing number of its centrifuge machines have upset Western plans for halting Iran’s nuclear progress, spokesperson for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) said.

“Westerners are well aware that Iran’s (uranium) enrichment stockpile and the number of (centrifuge) machines are increasing, and that the capacity of research and development is also expanding, and these issues have upset the plans of Westerners for halting (the progress of) Iran,” Behrouz Kamalvandi said in an interview with IRIB on Wednesday.

Commenting on Iran’s strategy for a phased reduction of commitments to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Kamalvandi said only two more steps would end all of Iran’s JCPOA undertakings and have the country return to the pre-JCPOA conditions.

As soon as the Fordow nuclear site comes into operation for uranium enrichment and the number of centrifuge machines rises, Iran will practically have no more commitments to the JCPOA and only the monitoring issues will remain, he noted.

Pointing to a 2018 order from Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei for increasing the level of Iran’s uranium enrichment capacity to 190,000 SWU (Separative Work Unit) in the long term, Kamalvandi said the current trend would enable Tehran to reach the production capacity of 172,000 SWU at the end of a 15-year period.

“We can even achieve (the production capacity of) one million SWU, depending on how the (centrifuge) machines and apparatuses would evolve,” the spokesman underlined.

“At present, we can easily manufacture the best centrifuges,” Kamalvandi said, adding that Iran would have faced many problems, as in the pharmaceutical industry, without progress in the nuclear industry over the past decades.

Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, US, Britain, France, and Germany) on July 14, 2015, reached a conclusion over the text of the nuclear deal.

The accord took effect in January 2016 and was supposed to terminate all nuclear-related sanctions against Iran all at once, but its implementation was hampered by the US policies and its eventual withdrawal from the deal.

In May 2018, US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the nuclear accord.

Following the US withdrawal, Iran and the remaining parties launched talks to save the deal.

However, the EU’s failure of ensure Iran’s economic interests forced Tehran to stop honoring certain commitments, including an unlimited rise in the stockpile of enriched uranium.