Iran on Tuesday notified United Nations’ nuclear watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency of its plan to increase its uranium enrichment capacity, AFP quoted Atomic Energy Organization of Iran chief Ali Akbar Salehi as saying. Salehi said the Iranian government submitted a letter to the IAEA on Monday about the “start of certain activities”.
“What we are doing does not violate the [2015 nuclear] agreement,” Salehi said, adding that it was just the beginning of the production process and did not mean Iran would “start assembling centrifuges”.
Under the agreement, Iran strictly limited its uranium enrichment capacity and is allowed to build parts for the centrifuges as long as it does not put them into operation.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was not “surprised” with Iran’s move and that Israel will not allow Tehran to get nuclear weapons. “The day before yesterday, Ayatollah Khamenei, the ruler of Iran, declared his intention to destroy Israel,” Netanyahu said, according to The Times of Israel. “Yesterday he explained how he would do it – with an unlimited enrichment of uranium to produce an arsenal of nuclear bombs.”
In May, United States President Donald Trump pulled out of a nuclear agreement with Iran signed in 2015 during Barack Obama’s tenure. The nuclear deal, signed by the five permanent members of the United Nations, Germany, the European Union and Iran, had lifted decades-old sanctions on Tehran on the promise that it would tone down its nuclear programme considerably
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had threatened if Europe failed to keep the 2015 nuclear agreement alive, Tehran would take several steps, including resuming its its enrichment of uranium.