The Iranian government has told International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors that it will bring uranium enrichment to 20 percent. The Iranian decision has also been confirmed by the UN nuclear watchdog.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says Iran plans to bring uranium enrichment to 20 percent at its Fordow nuclear plant. The news comes at a time of tension between Iran and the United States. Iran has also reported its plan to UN nuclear watchdog inspectors. News of further uranium enrichment began to hit the international media on Friday, 1 January.
Iran’s uranium enrichment was first reported by the Wall Street Journal. Russia’s Permanent Representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mikhail Ulyanov, also tweeted about the Iranian plan on Friday.
It was only after this news that the Tehran government formally informed the International Atomic Energy Agency of its plan that the country’s parliament had passed a resolution authorizing it to do so. Prior to the announcement of the plan, Iran was allowed to enrich uranium to 4.5 percent under the 2015 Nuclear Deal. According to experts, the Iranian government has already accumulated significant reserves of uranium to this level.
If Iran raises uranium enrichment to 20 percent, it will be technically a step towards nuclear weapons. Reports of uranium enrichment have surfaced as the first anniversary of the death of Iranian General Qasim Soleimani approaches. Iranian General Qasim Soleimani was killed in a US drone strike on January 3, 2020 in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.
On the other hand, the news of uranium enrichment by Iran has come at a time when the term of President Donald Trump’s government is coming to an end. It is also important to note that US B-52 fighter jets have been seen flying over the area. The United States has already deployed a nuclear-powered submarine in the Persian Gulf.
The site was first identified by the United States in 2009. Under the 2015 deal, the center was given the status of a research center. There are also reports that Iran has begun construction of a new plant at Fordow. Satellite images of the site were released by the Associated Press in December last year. Iran continues to declare its nuclear program peaceful.