The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) says the country continues to enrich uranium to 60 percent purity level as talks between the country and the remaining signatories to a landmark nuclear deal clinched in 2015 continue in the Austrian capital.
"Uranium enrichment at 60%, 20% and 5% purity levels still continues [by Iran] and our stockpiles of the 20% enriched uranium stand at over 90 kilograms," Ali Akbar Salehi said on Monday.
Based on a law approved by Iran's Parliament, the country is scheduled to produce 120 kilograms of enriched uranium with a 20-percent purity level per year, the Iranian nuclear chief said, adding that the figure now stood at 90 kilograms after some four months.
Last December, Iranian lawmakers overwhelmingly voted in favor of the Strategic Action Plan to Counter Sanctions.
The law tasked the AEOI with producing and storing at least 120 kilograms of enriched uranium with a 20-percent purity level every year and raising enrichment beyond 20 percent according to the country's needs.
Salehi said Iran has also stockpiled over 2.5 kilograms of 60 percent enriched uranium and over 5 tonnes of 5 percent enriched uranium, emphasizing that the country's nuclear activities still continue.
Under former president Donald Trump, the US in May 2018 withdrew from the landmark nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was signed by Iran and major world powers. Trump also initiated a “maximum pressure” policy against Iran, prompting Tehran to take remedial measures by gradually reducing its nuclear commitments under the deal.
Tehran responded to the US noncompliance through taking a series of remedial measures envisaged in the nuclear deal if in case the other side did not observe its obligations.
Iran has insisted that it would observe its commitments only after the US removed all its sanctions in one step and Tehran could verify it.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Salehi pointed to the end of a three-month deadline which was given by Iran to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on inspection of the country's nuclear sites and the Islamic Republic's decision to extend the agreement by one month and said Tehran decided to continue recording data for one more month amid the ongoing Vienna talks on the revival of the JCPOA.
Iran informed IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi of its decision on Monday, he noted.
The AEOI chief expressed hope that the Vienna talks would result in an acceptable outcome by the end of the new deadline.
The new agreement between Iran and the UN nuclear agency was announced by Iran’s representative to the international organizations in Vienna, Kazem Gharibabadi, in an interview with reporters, as well as by the IAEA’s director general through a press conference in the Austrian capital on Monday.