Iran back to 20% enrichment if P5+1 goes back on word: Nuclear chief
Tehran can resume enriching uranium to the 20-percent purity level if the P5+1 group reneges on its obligations under a potential final deal over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program, says the director of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI).
“Regarding the 20-percent [enriched] uranium, any time that the opposite side does not live up to its commitments, we can join two cascades of centrifuges to produce more than five kilos of 20-percent uranium,” Ali Akbar Salehi said in a televised interview on Thursday night.
During the confidence-building period until a final deal is inked, the opposite side is also committed to providing Iran with the 20-percent enriched uranium it needs, which Tehran will convert to fuel plates inside the country, Salehi said.
Regarding the Arak heavy water reactor, Salehi noted that a deal will also be signed between the two sides, under which a company from a country like China, France, or the US would be obliged to supply Iran with what it needs regarding the facility.
Stressing that there will be no limit to Iran’s research and development program, the senior official said under a final comprehensive deal, Tehran will be entitled to a full nuclear cycle and the country will also keep its peaceful nuclear program without shutting down any facilities.
Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany reached a mutual understanding, which resulted in a joint statement, over Tehran’s nuclear program in the Swiss city of Lausanne on April 2 after eight days of marathon talks.
According to the joint statement, none of Iran’s nuclear facilities will be stopped, shut down or suspended and Iran’s nuclear activities in all its nuclear facilities including Natanz, Fordow, Isfahan and Arak will continue.
The joint statement also emphasized that Iran’s Fordow nuclear facility will be turned into a research center for nuclear science and physics. It also said the heavy water reactor in the city of Arak will remain in place, but will be redesigned and upgraded.
Iran and its negotiating partners are now expected to start work to draw up a final comprehensive deal over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program by the end of the self-designated June 30 deadline.