Iran informs IAEA to start 60% enrichment from Wednesday: Araqchi
Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said that Iran has informed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of a plan to start 60-percent uranium enrichment as of Wednesday, following an act of sabotage targeting the country's Natanz nuclear facility.
According to Press TV, he on Tuesday in Vienna said that not only will Iran soon replace the centrifuges that were damaged in the act of sabotage at Natanz, but will also install an additional 1,000 centrifuges of a 50-percent higher enrichment capacity at the facility.
The enrichment level exceeds Iran's current top level of 20 percent.
Araqchi is in the Austrian city for another round of talks aimed at finding a way for the United States to rejoin the 2015 nuclear agreement, which it abandoned in 2018 and re-imposed the illegal sanctions on Iran that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) had lifted.
The Iranian official’s announcement of the sheer increase in Iran’s remedial measures came after power at the country’s Natanz Nuclear Facility was cut across the installation on Sunday.
Officials said there were no casualties or damage, nor were there any particular contamination or other problems after the incident.
The Islamic Republic, however, denounced the incident as "a bold act of nuclear terrorism on the Iranian soil," calling it a “work of the Zionist regime [of Israel], given what it (the regime) was repeatedly saying before and what is still being heard from various sources these days."
Araqchi’s remarks echoed earlier ones by Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatizadeh, who told Press TV that after the sabotage, Iran would bring a “remarkable increase” to its nuclear countermeasures.
“The Americans should avoid all sorts of misapprehension [here],” the Iranian official added. He was apparently indicating that the US should under no condition underplay Iran’s resolve to confront foreign bullying and pressure at it attends the nuclear talks.