Iran announces enrichment breach
July 8, 2019 -- Iran has announced it will raise its enrichment of uranium, breaking another limit of its faltering 2015 nuclear deal with world powers and further heightening tensions between Tehran and the United States.
Iran’s deputy foreign minister, Abbas Araghchi, told reporters on Sunday that Iran would start enriching uranium for its Bushehr power plant to 5 percent, higher than the 3.67 percent agreed to in the deal, according to Politico’s website.
Enriched uranium at the 3.67 percent level is enough for peaceful pursuits but is far below weapons-grade levels of 90 percent. It is also well below the 20 percent level to which Iran enriched uranium before the deal.
The decision to ramp up uranium enrichment came less than a week after Iran acknowledged breaking the deal’s 300kg limit on its low-enriched uranium stockpile. Experts warn higher enrichment and a growing stockpile narrow the one-year window Iran would need to have enough material for an atomic bomb, something Iran denies it wants but the deal prevented.