Iran able to reach 20,000-SWU enrichment capacity in a month: Nuclear chief

Tasnim – Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi said the country is capable of increasing the level of uranium enrichment capacity to 20,000 SWU (Separative Work Unit) within a month.

In comments at a radio interview on Thursday, Ali Akbar Salehi said the Iranian nuclear experts are capable of increasing the level of uranium enrichment capacity to over 20,000 SWU in only a month.

While Iran’s enrichment capacity was around 6,000 SWU, the local experts have raised that level by 3,000 SWU recently, he added.

The official also cautioned the European signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal against the consequences of failing to honor their commitments to the JCPOA, saying Tehran has expedited its plans and proved its capabilities by resuming uranium enrichment with 490 new centrifuge machines.

Last week, Iran restarted enrichment at the Fordow nuclear facility as the fourth step away from the 2015 accord.

The country had earlier reduced its commitments in three other phases, but the latest one, the injection of uranium hexafluoride (UF6) gas into centrifuges at Fordow, is believed to be the most important step so far, and a serious warning to the other parties.

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

Iran and the remaining parties launched talks to save the JCPOA after the US withdrawal, but the three EU parties to the deal (France, Britain, and Germany) have failed to ensure Iran’s economic interests.

The EU’s inaction forced Tehran to stop honoring certain commitments to the nuclear deal, including a rise in the stockpile of enriched uranium.

Iran maintains that the new measures are not designed to harm the JCPOA but to save the accord by creating a balance in the commitments.