Well beyond the threshold set by its 2015 nuclear deal with major powers, Iran on January 5 confirmed that it is now enriching uranium to 20 percent purity.
Enrichment, spokesman Behrouz Kamalavandi said, “At around 7 pm (1530 GMT Monday), we reached 20 percent.”
Having announced the development on January 4, government spokesman Ali Rabiei said President Hassan Rouhani had ordered the enrichment in recent days in line with a law that conservative-dominated parliament approved last month. The law “for the lifting of sanctions and protection of the Iranian people’s interests” mandates Rouhani’s government to “produce and store 120 kilogrammes (265 pounds) per year of uranium enriched to 20 percent.”
The move at its underground Fordow facility that was confirmed by UN watchdog the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has sparked international concern.