The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) says the country has increased its daily production of low-enriched uranium (LEU) after it resumed enrichment at the Fordow facility.
Speaking in an interview with the Associated Press on Monday, Ali Akbar Salehi said Iran was now producing at least 5.5 kilograms of low-enriched uranium per day, compared to previous production of about 450 grams per day.
He added that the total daily enrichment capacity will gradually increase and could reach six kilograms at both Natanz and Fordow nuclear sites.
The AEOI said on Wednesday that it had officially started injecting gas into hundreds of centrifuges at Fordow in the fourth step away from the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed between Iran and major world powers.
The step came as part of the fourth rollback of Iran’s commitments under the nuclear deal in reciprocation for the United States’ pullout from the JCPOA and Europe’s failure to meet its end of the bargain.
It involves injecting UF6 (uranium hexafluoride) gas into centrifuges under the supervision of inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Under the JCPOA, the first-generation IR-1 centrifuges at Fordow are only allowed to spin without uranium gas.
Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said on Friday that Iran had proved it was after preserving the JCPOA, but stressed that safeguarding the national interests is more important than protecting the nuclear deal.
“No country has any doubt about Iran’s goodwill to preserve the JCPOA. There is no doubt that if Iran is not enjoying the JCPOA’s benefits, it will continue to scale back its commitments under the JCPOA,” Araqchi told reporters in Russia on the sidelines of the Moscow Nonproliferation Conference (MNC) 2019.