Iran is working to restore its pre-nuclear deal capabilities to build a nuclear bomb.
Iran announced on Saturday that it will bring back to the country the second batch of 20 percent enriched uranium which has been kept in Russia under the 2015 nuclear deal, another step in restarting its illicit nuclear program.
Iran claims that the uranium will be used at the Tehran Research Reactor.
“When we were inking the nuclear deal, we stopped production of 20 percent fuel and deposited the excess fuel in Russia in nearly 10 batches. We received the first batch nearly seven months ago and the second batch is about to be transferred back to Iran,” Behrouz Kamalvandi spokesman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) stated, Iran’s Fars News agency reported.
Each batch can be used for nearly a year, and therefore Iran has 20 percent fuel for the Tehran Reactor for at least seven to eight years, Kamalvandi said.
“If the nuclear deal remains alive, the other sides should sell us the fuel and if the nuclear deal dies, then we would feel unimpeded to produce the 20 percent fuel ourselves,” Kamalvandi said.
Uranium can be enriched to levels ranging from reactor fuel or medical and research purposes to the core of an atomic bomb.
The low-enriched uranium is suitable mainly for generating nuclear power and requires substantial further enrichment for use in the core of a nuclear warhead.
At 20 percent enrichment, the U-235 isotope has already traveled 90 percent of the distance required to reach weapons-grade.
In April, AEOI Chief Ali Akbar Salehi said his organization can restore 20-percent uranium enrichment at its Fordo nuclear facility in just four days if the nuclear deal is scrapped.
He said this statement should be seen as a warning by the “other side” against cancelling the deal, stressing that Iran could reveal more extensive progress in other parts of its nuclear activities that exceed previous levels.