Behrouz Kamalvandi, Spokesman for the country’s Atomic Energy Organisation has said Iran will start enriching uranium to a higher purity than 3.67 percent:
“After a few hours, the technical part will end and the process of (uranium) enrichment to over 3.67 percent will start… Our forecast is tomorrow morning when the International Atomic Energy Agency will test (enrichment), we will be beyond the 3.67 percent [limit] “
Iran has previously said it needs five-percent enrichment for its Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) and 20-percent for Tehran research reactor.
Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araqchi said on 7 July that Iran has prepared a step-by-step strategy for further eroding its nuclear commitments in collaboration with the Atomic Energy Organisation [of Iran (AEOI),”.
Araqchi was speaking at a press briefing together with the AEOI spokesman, Behrouz Kamalvandi, and government spokesman, Ali Rabiei, as they officially announced the start of uranium enrichment beyond levels stipulated in the 2015 accord. The first 60-day deadline Tehran had set for the remaining signatories to the JCPOA back on May 8 ended today (July 7).
Araqchi added that Iran has set a new 60-day deadline for the European signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal (JCPOA) while threatening that it will take a “third step” of scaling back its commitments unless its demands are met.
Araqchi said a letter written by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will be sent to the EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini to formally announce the second 60-day deadline and the launch of the “second step” of scaling back Iran’s commitments under the JCPOA, including raised levels of uranium enrichment.
The senior diplomat added that details of the “third step” will be announced in due time, adding that the AEOI is ready to implement the required measures at any point. “We have totally contemplated the third and next steps,” He said Iran is simultaneously conducting “diplomatic consultations” and planning “political initiatives”.
NOTE: Iran is carrying out its threats to erode its commitments to the nuclear agreement and threatens to take further steps. These steps are part of an Iranian diplomatic campaign in an attempt to renew negotiations with the United States on its terms, but they can lead to increased tension in the Persian Gulf region between Iran and the United States and Europe.