Iran indicated on Monday that it is now producing 5kg of enriched uranium per day, over 10 times more than two months ago, when it freed itself from a number of restrictions on its nuclear programme that it had agreed to in 2015.
The announcement was made on State television by Ali Akbar Salehi, Vice President of the Islamic Republic and head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Agency.
Iran has also developed two new models of advanced centrifuges in two months, and has begun testing one of them, Mr. Salehi added.
Under an agreement concluded in July 2015 in Vienna with the 5+1 Group (Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States), Tehran had agreed to reduce drastically its nuclear activities – to guarantee their exclusively civilian nature – in exchange for the partial lifting of international sanctions that were strangling its economy.
The Islamic Republic began coming back on some of its commitments after the U.S. unilaterally pulled out of the agreement in May 2018 and re-imposed heavy sanctions that deprived Iran of the economic benefits it had expected.
It now produces uranium enriched beyond the 3.67% ceiling set by the 2015 agreement and no longer respects the 300kg limit imposed on its stock of (slightly) enriched uranium.
In early September, the Iranian Government announced the third phase of its plan to scale down its commitments, explaining that it no longer felt bound by any of the limits that the 2015 agreement had set on its nuclear research and development activities.