Iran announced on Saturday that it will bring back home a second batch of 20%-enriched uranium which has been kept in Russia under the 2015 nuclear deal to be used in Tehran Research Reactor.
“When we were inking the nuclear deal, we stopped production of 20% fuel and deposited the excessive fuel in Russia in nearly 10 batches. We received the first batch nearly 7 months ago and the second batch is about to be transferred back to Iran. Any of these batches can be used for nearly one year and therefore, we have 20% fuel for Tehran Reactor for at least 7 to 8 years,” Spokesman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Behrouz Kamalvandi said.
He added that Iran accepted to stop production of 20% fuel after the nuclear deal as the other parties to the deal have taken up to supply the fuel to iran, and noted, “If the fuel is sold to us, we do not need to produce it by ourselves.”
“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% fuel ourselves,” Kamalvandi said.
He also explained that based on the nuclear deal, Iran is entitled to resume production of 20% fuel 15 years after date when the deal was endorsed.
In relevant remarks in April, AEOI Chief Ali Akbar Salehi said his organization enjoys the capability to restore 20-percent uranium enrichment at its Fordo nuclear facility in just 4 days if the 2015 nuclear deal is discarded by the other side.
“If senior Islamic Republic officials issue an order to resume the 20% enrichment, we can do it in Fordo within 4 days,” Salehi told reporters in Tehran.
He said this statement should be seen as a warning by the other side against discarding the nuclear deal, stressing that Iran can even show more extensive progress in other parts of its nuclear activities to go beyond the previous levels.
Iran had also warned last year that it enjoyed the capability to restore its uranium enrichment operations and even develop its capacity to 100,000 SWUs (Separative Work Units) if the nuclear deal with the world powers failed as a result of the US non-compliance with its undertakings.
“We don’t have any problems technically. We were moving normally in the past but if we want to soar up, we can ascend to go up the ladder and develop 100,000 SWUs (of enrichment capacity) in one and a half years and change the heart of the (Arak heavy water) reactor too,” Kamalvandi said.