DUBAI: A top advisor to Iran’s supreme leader has hinted Tehran could boost its uranium enrichment to 5%, ahead of deadline it set for world powers to save a landmark 2015 nuclear deal.
Iran is acting on its May 8 threat to suspend from Sunday parts of the agreement in response to US President Donald Trump’s reimposition of crippling sanctions after withdrawing from the deal in May last year.
The accord capped Iran’s enrichment maximum at 3.67%, sufficient for power generation but far below the more than 90% level required for a nuclear weapon. Uranium enrichment “will increase as much as needed for our peaceful activities,” Ali Akbar Velayati, international affairs advisor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in an interview published Friday on the leader’s official website.
“For Bushehr nuclear reactor we need five percent enrichment and it is acompletely peaceful goal.” Also on Sunday, Iran’s senior nuclear negotiator will announce more cuts in its commitments to the 2015 nuclear deal, a semi-official news agency reported.
Other officials will join the top negotiator, Abbas Araqchi, in making the announcement at a news conference at 0600 GMT, the Fars news agency reported. On May 8, Iran announced it would no longer respect the limits set on the size of its stockpiles of enriched uranium and heavy water. It has also threatened to resume building a heavy water reactor —capable of one day producing plutonium

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