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Iran speeds up production of 20% enriched uranium

Yusef Jalali
Press TV, Fordow

At this major nuclear facility dubbed Fordow, Iran is producing enriched uranium at 20% purity. The move is the last in a series of steps Iran has been taking to scale back its obligations to the nuclear deal Iran signed in 2015 with the six world powers.

In his visit to the Fordow site, Iran's Parliament Speaker Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf said if the European signatories to the accord ease the anti-Iran sanctions, Tehran will halt its high-grade uranium enrichment.

The measure to ramp up the enrichment grade came as part of a law passed by Iran's parliament two months ago in response to the assassination of a top Iranian nuclear scientist, which Tehran has blamed on Israel.

The new law dubbed the Strategic Action Plan to Lift Sanctions required the government to disregard the 3.67-percent threshold the deal has imposed on the enrichment grade and produce at least 120 kilograms of 20% enriched uranium annually.

Iranian nuclear officials say the process is going on faster than planned.

Iran hardened its position regarding the nuclear deal in 2018, following US's unilateral withdrawal from the multilateral accord.

Iran has also been criticizing the European parties to the deal for failing to live up to their promises. In response, Tehran began a tiered suspension of its nuclear obligations last year to push the EU to take practical steps to materialize the promised economic benefits of the accord for Iran.

This last move is the boldest countermeasure Iran has taken to "keep the balance between its commitments and rights under the accord."

Officials say this will save the deal since it will force other parties to return to their obligations.

Now, Iran maintains that these steps are reversible once other parties live up to their promises.

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