Alwaght- Iran has announced readiness to boost enrichment of uranium beyond previous levels in case the remaining parties to the landmark 2015 nuclear agreement fail to salvage it.
Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi told IRIB on Wednesday that the country “will reach even more advanced levels” of uranium enrichment if the other parties leave the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
He also noted that the country’s nuclear activities are moving forward at a favorable pace.
Back in June, the AEOI was ordered by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei to promptly make preparations for enrichment of uranium up to a level of 190,000 SWU "for the time being within the framework of the JCPOA.”
In a speech on June 4, the Leader slammed European governments for expecting the Iranian nation to both tolerate sanctions and give up its nuclear activities, saying that the country cannot remain in “nuclear custody” when the sanctions are still in place.
As part of those preparations, the AEOI launched a UF6 production plant in late June in a bid to increase the country’s uranium enrichment capacity.
The JCPOA was inked between Iran and the P5+1 countries — namely the US, Russia, China, France, and Britain plus Germany — in July 2015 and took effect in January 2016.
Under the deal, limits were put on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for the removal of all nuclear-related bans imposed on the Islamic Republic, among other things.
In May, US President Donald Trump declared he would withdraw his country from the nuclear deal and re-impose the sanctions that the deal had envisaged to be lifted.
Since the US’ withdrawal, European countries have been scrambling to ensure that Iran reaps enough economic benefits to convince it to stay in the deal. However, the offers made by the Europeans so far to keep Tehran in the JCPOA have yet to persuade the Iranian officials.
Meanwhile, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) last week once again confirmed that Iran has lived up to its commitments under the 2015 nuclear agreement.
The report comes at a time that Washington has stepped up its rhetoric and actions against the JCPOA.