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Iran Quadruples Uranium Enrichment

Iran Quadruples Uranium Enrichment

WASHINGTON — Iran said Monday it has quadrupled its uranium enrichment capacity as the war of words between Tehran and Washington shows little sign of cooling off. Iranian officials say the uranium will be enriched for civilian energy uses, far below weapons grade as spelled out in the 2015 nuclear agreement.

Enriching uranium means concentrating the element's radioactive component. Natural uranium has less than one percent U-235, while uranium for electric power production is around four percent pure and weapons-grade material is refined to contain about 90% of this active ingredient.

Iran could soon exceed the amount of material it is allowed to stockpile under the deal. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced two weeks ago he is pulling out of some parts of the six-nation nuclear deal, including the condition that Iran sell excess amounts of uranium to other nations.

Rouhani has threatened to move Iran closer to weapons-grade enrichment unless it sees promised economic relief from the deal by early July. President Donald Trump pulled out of the nuclear agreement deal one year ago. He re-imposed sanctions on Tehran and has threatened other sanctions on countries that still do business with Iran. Trump's decision has made the Iranian economy, already in tatters, even weaker.

Trump's moves have helped set the stage for the current increased tensions between the United States and Iran.

 

Aliqismet BADALOV,
“Khalq qazeti”

21 2019 11:02 -

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