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Iran's atomic chief: Nothing new in nuclear work, all activities in line with rules

Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Mohammad Eslami

Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Mohammad Eslami has dismissed new foreign media reports suggesting a spike in the level of uranium enrichment in recent weeks, saying Tehran’s nuclear activities comply with international rules and regulations.

“The new media project that has started about Iran’s enrichment is nothing new, and we are proceeding with our current activity within the framework of the regulations,” Eslami told reporters on the sidelines of a cabinet session on Wednesday.

The comments came after the Reuters news agency said in a report that the UN nuclear watchdog had notified its members about an increase in the rate at which Iran has been enriching uranium at two of its nuclear facilities since the end of November.  

Eslami rejected any concerns, saying that enriching uranium up to 60% has been a routine at Iranian nuclear facilities.

“We are enriching [uranium] to the very 60 percent purity; we have neither changed our work nor expanded our capacity,” he explained.   

“This is media propaganda and the White House and the Zionist regime normally use such phrases to reduce the pressure of the global public opinion caused by the crimes they are committing in Gaza,” said the AEOI chief.

“By making a case about such issues, they want to divert attention away from Gaza and shift it toward Iran,” he said of the ongoing Israeli aggression against Palestine which has been supported by the United States.

Back in June, Eslami said that the AEOI has been enriching uranium to the purity level of 60% in accordance with a December 2020 parliamentary law -- dubbed the Strategic Action Plan to Counter Sanctions -- for different purposes, including the production of radiopharmaceuticals and detectors.

In 2019, Iran started to roll back the limits it had accepted under a landmark nuclear deal with world powers that had been signed in 2015. The decision came a year after the US withdrew from the agreement and re-imposed sanctions on Tehran.  

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