The head of Iran’s nuclear program said Sunday that the Islamic Republic has begun “preliminary activities for designing” a modern process for 20-percent uranium enrichment for its 50-year-old research reactor in Tehran, signaling new danger for the nuclear deal.
Restarting enrichment at that level would mean Iran had withdrawn from the 2015 nuclear deal it struck with world powers, an accord that US President Donald Trump already pulled America out of in May.
However, Ali Akbar Salehi’s comments to state television appeared aimed at telling the world Iran would slowly restart its program. If it chooses, it could resume mass enrichment at its main facility in the central Iranian town of Natanz.
“Preliminary activities for designing modern 20% (enriched uranium) fuel have begun,” state TV quoted Salehi as saying.
Salehi said adding the “modern fuel” will increase efficiency in Tehran research reactor that consumes 20% enriched fuel.
“We are at the verge” of being ready, he said, without elaborating.
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