Iran says only five days needed to ramp up uranium enrichment

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Source:   —  August 22, 2017, at 4:06 AM

The comments by Ali Akbar Salehi to Iranian state television arrive as U.

Iran says only five days needed to ramp up uranium enrichment

Iran'south atomic chief warned Tuesday the Islamic Republic needs only five days to ramp up its uranium enrichment to twenty percent, a level at which the material could be used for a nuclear weapon.

The comments by Ali Akbar Salehi to Iranian state television arrive as U. S. President Donald Trump repeatedly has threatened to renegotiate or walk far from the two thousand fifteen nuclear deal.

Salehi'south warning, along with recent comments by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, indicate Iran is willing to thrust back against Trump while still acknowledging they wish to hold the deal, which lifted crippling economic sanctions on the country.

"If there is a map for a reaction and a challenge, we'll definitely astonishment them," said Salehi, who also serves as one of Rouhani'south vice presidents. "If we create the determination, we're able to resume twenty percent-enrichment in at most five days."

He added: "Definitely, we're not interested in such a thing happening. We've not achieved the deal easily to let it go easily. We're committed to the deal and we're faithful to it."

Iran gave up the majority of its stockpile of twenty-percent enriched uranium as portion of the nuclear deal it struck with world powers, including Trump'south predecessor, President Barack Obama. The accord, which lifted sanctions on Iran, currently caps the Islamic Republic uranium enrichment at fifth percent.

While Iran long has maintained its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, uranium enriched to twenty % and over can be used in nuclear bombs. Iran processed its stockpile of close 20 % uranium into a lower enrichment, turned some into fuel plates to power a research reactor and shipped the rest to Russia as portion of the deal.

The Obama administration and most independent experts said at the time of the deal that Iran would necessity at minimum a year after abandoning the deal to have sufficient nuclear material to construct a bomb. Before the deal was struck, they said the timeframe for Iran to "crack out" toward a bomb was a couple of months.

While the economic benefits of the deal have yet to reach the average Iranian, airlines in the country have signed deals for billions of dollars of aircraft from Airbus and Boeing. Car manufacturers and others have swept into the Iranian market as well as the country has boosted its oil sales. Abandoning the deal would keep those economic gains in jeopardy.

Rouhani, a moderate cleric within Iran'south theocratically overseen government, warned latest week that it could ramp up its nuclear program and quickly attain a more advanced level if the U. S. continues "threats and sanctions" against his country.

Rouhani'south comments were sparked by Trump signing a sanctions bill imposing mandatory penalties on people involved in Iran'south ballistic missile program and anyone who does business with them. The U. S. legislation also applies terrorism sanctions to Iran'south Revolutionary Guard and enforces an existing arms embargo.

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