Iran has informed the international nuclear agency IAEA that it plans to enrich uranium to a purity of 20 percent, much more than agreed in the 2015 nuclear deal, the agency announced on Friday.
Iran has previously failed to comply with the nuclear deal with Western countries, after the United States withdrew from the deal and US President Donald Trump reintroduced sanctions against the country. For example, Iran enriched ten times as much uranium as is allowed.
The country has also previously exceeded the level of uranium purity stipulated in the nuclear accord. Iran may enrich uranium 3.67 percent purity, but has already enriched it to 4.5 percent.
Iran, in a statement to the nuclear agency, referred to a decision by the Iranian parliament last month to enrich more and faster uranium with new installations. That decision was said to be in response to the deadly attack on prominent Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who was seen as the mastermind behind Tehran’s attempts to create a nuclear bomb. Iran has always denied developing its own atomic bomb.
The intent of the nuclear deal with Iran was for the country to have only low-enriched uranium, so it would take longer to obtain the highly enriched uranium needed to make an atomic bomb. This requires enrichment of up to 90 percent.