Iran to enrich uranium to 20%
Image Credit: Vahid Salemi/AP
Iran has announced that it will enrich its uranium stockpile to 20% purity. This breaches the 2015 nuclear deal the US made with Iran to keep the uranium purity level to below 4%. It takes a purity of 90% to create a nuclear bomb. Unfortunately, US President Donald Trump pulled out of the nuclear deal in May 2018, and reimposed sanctions on Iran, crippling their economy. Several countries like France, Germany, Russia, China and United Kingdom attempted to keep the nuclear deal alive, but the re-imposition of US sanctions, enraged Iran.
According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Iran informed them about their decision to enrich their uranium to a 20% purity. They never said when, but only that they will do so. Iran enriches its uranium at the Fordow Fuel enrichment plant, an underground uranium enrichment facility. Back in 2019, Iran breached the 3.67% purity, and it than remained at 4.5% since today. The decision from Iran’s parliament to enrich uranium to 20% purity, was in response to the killing of their nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. Read more about this here:
There is still time to stop the uranium from being enriched to 20%. Iran has vowed to enrich the uranium if sanctions on its oil and financial sectors are not lifted. President-elect Joe Biden vowed that he would reintroduce the agreement which was negotiated back in 2015 under President Obama, and lift sanctions if Iran strictly complies with the nuclear deal. Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said in December that if the United States ‘returns to the situation as it was in 2017, then so will we.’ President-elect Joe Biden will take office and replace President Donald Trump on January 20, 2021.