Iran has begun enriching Uranium Hexafluoride to the purity level of 60% in newer generation of centrifuge machines at the Natanz nuclear facility and will accumulate the product next week, Iranian envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Kazem Gharibabadi, said Wednesday.
“This will improve significantly both the quality and quantity of radiopharmaceutical products,” he added.
The Natanz facility came under attack last Sunday which caused its power supply to fail damaging an unspecified number of centrifuges, various Israeli media reported giving credit to the operation to its intelligence agency, Mossad.
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday Tehran’s decision was a response to Israel’s alleged “nuclear terrorism.”
“Enabling IR-6 (centrifuges) at Natanz today, or bringing enrichment to 60 percent: this is the response to your malice,” Rouhani said in televised remarks. “What you did was nuclear terrorism. What we do is legal.”
Iran has been enriching up to 20%. It had reached that level of enrichment even before the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) accord was signed. The agreement allowed Iran to enrich Uranium only up to 3.67%. To build a nuclear bomb, Uranium enrichment must reach 90%.
Iran previously had said it could use Uranium enriched up to 60% for nuclear-powered ships. The Islamic Republic currently has no such ships in its navy.
State-owned Press TV quoted an Iranian negotiator as saying that Tehran plans to introduce another 1,000 centrifuges at Natanz.
The Iranian ambassador to the Vienna-based international organizations announced on Tuesday that enrichment activities in Iran’s Natanz nuclear site has not stopped following a recent act of sabotage.
On Tehran’s response to the attack that damaged a number of centrifuges in the facility, Gharibabadi was quoted as saying by local media, “Iran will react including by planning to implement several technical measures which the Agency (IAEA) will be informed this week. Replacement process of the damaged centrifuges including with the same machines with more capacity has immediately begun.”