News ID: 112632
Publish Date : 20 February 2023 - 22:22

Iran Denies Enriching Uranium Above 60%

TEHRAN — Iran on Monday denied reports that it has enriched uranium up to 84 percent, describing the claims as “slander” and a “distortion of the facts”.
“The presence of a particle or particles of uranium above 60 percent in the enrichment process does not mean enrichment above 60 percent,” the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) spokesman Behruz Kamalvandi said.
The existence of such particles is a totally normal issue in the course of uranium enrichment and could happen even when the feedstock entering centrifuge cascades decreased momentarily, he said.
“What matters is the final product and the Islamic Republic of Iran has never embarked on e enrichment at a level above 60 percent,” Kamalvandi said.
“The IAEA is well aware that such issues happen during the work. In various cases in the past, different levels of enrichment have been observed and have been accounted for, and this latest issue will be definitely clarified as well.”
Kamalvandi said the IAEA does not usually inform its members of such issues.
“Publicizing these issues through the media once again shows that unfortunately, the IAEA has lost its professional and impartial standing since a long time ago. It intentionally provides Western media with technical information, and without a doubt, this conduct will further discredit this important international organization.”
Speaking in an interview with Russia’s Sputnik news agency in early February, AEOI head Muhammad Eslami said the International Atomic Energy Agency gives information about Iran’s nuclear program to opponents of negotiations held to revive the the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Eslami said Iran’s nuclear achievements are meant to be used in medical, environmental and industrial sectors, reiterating the peaceful nature of the country’s uranium enrichment activities.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani said his country is “committed” to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and its safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
He warned against the politicization of the role of the UN nuclear agency, saying it “distorts its position.”
“The agency should act within the framework of specialized tasks,” he added.
The new development comes amid stalled negotiations to revive the 2015 deal over Iran’s nuclear program.
The accord promised Iran sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program. But the U.S. unilaterally withdrew from the deal in 2018 and reimposed sanctions on Iran, prompting it to begin walking back on its commitments under the accord.
Negotiations between world powers to return to the deal started in 2021 but have been in a deep freeze since last year.
During a telephone call Sunday evening with European foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, Iran’s top diplomat Hussein Amir-Abdollahian indicated that a visit by IAEA chief Rafael Grossi to Tehran was still planned.
“If the agency acts with a technical objective and not a political one, it will be possible to agree on a framework to resolve” the nuclear dispute, Amir-Abdollahian said.