Iran starts 20% uranium enrichment at Fordow facility: Govt. spox

Iran has started the process of producing uranium with 20% enrichment at Fordow facility, said the government spokesman.

In a brief talk with Mehr News Agency on Monday, Ali Rabiei pointed to Iran’s counteractive plan to enrich uranium to up to 20% purity, saying that the gas injection process into centrifuges started “hours ago” following President Hassan Rouhani’s recent order on the implementation of the plan.

Rabiei noted that the enrichment started this morning while the pre-requisite measures such as informing the International Atomic Energy Agency and submitting a questionnaire based on the country’s safeguard obligations have been taken.

The first UF6 product will be available within the next hours, the spokesman said.

The Iranian parliament approved a bill in December aimed at the lifting of sanctions after the failure of JCPOA’s European parties to fulfill commitments and in wake of the assassination of an Iranian scientist.

The plan obliges the AEOI to produce at least 120 kg of 20% enriched uranium annually and store it inside the country within two months after the adoption of the law.

According to the motion, the AEOI should start the installation, gas injection, enrichment, and storage of nuclear materials up to an appropriate enrichment degree within a period of three months using at least 1,000 IR-2m centrifuges.

The motion also requires the Iranian government to stop any regulatory access beyond the Additional Protocol within two months of its enactment in line with Articles 36 and 37 of the JCPOA which was signed between Iran and major world powers in 2015.

Based on the motion, if the European parties to the JCPOA start observing their obligations within three months following approval of this law, the Iranian administration should submit a proposal to the parliament on Iran’s reciprocal measures for restoring full implementation of its JCPOA obligations.