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Iran could make more potent uranium within 48 hours if US leaves nuclear deal, it says

March 08, 2018

Iran on Monday said the country was capable of producing higher enriched uranium within two days if the United States followed through with its threat to pull out of the 2015 nuclear deal.

President Donald Trump has continually expressed his displeasure of the deal, suggesting drastic changes and further sanctions on Iran, but many European countries involved with the deal may not be on board with the President’s idea.

On Tehran’s Arabic language al-Alam TV, Behrouz Kamalvandi, a spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, said that “If America pulls out of the deal … Iran could resume its 20-percent uranium enrichment in less than 48 hours.” Uranium refined to 20-percent fissile purity is well-beyond the 5 percent normally required to fuel civil nuclear power plants, Reuters reported, but it’s still short of the highly enriched purity of 80 to 90 percent needed for nuclear bombs.

Speaking in regard to the U.S.’ recent desire to revise the 2015 nuclear deal, Kamalvandi also stated that it is not re-negotiable. The deal was intended to curb Iran’s uranium enrichment to help ensure the production was for peaceful purposes only. In return, financial and economic sanctions on the country would be lessened. While the deal’s other partners, including Germany, Britain, France, Russia and China, all support preserving the deal, the U.S. has threatened to withdraw completely.

It was recently reported that the U.S. State Department be in agreement with White House’s stance, stating that the U.S. will stop providing Iran with sanctions relief and kill the deal.

“This is a last chance,” a State Department official said. “In the absence of a commitment from our European allies to work with us to fix the deal’s flaws, the United States will not again waive sanctions in order to stay in the Iran nuclear deal. And if at any time the President judges that agreement is not within reach, the United States will withdraw from the deal immediately.”