The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi has disclosed that Tehran has enriched 24 tons of uranium after signing the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
Earlier, it was said that Iran had limited its stock of enriched uranium to 300 kilograms since 2015 nuclear agreement.
Salehi made the revelation during Sunday’s session of the “independent conservative” faction of the Parliament to discuss the latest developments regarding the nuclear accord known as JCPOA.
The members of the faction are staunch allies of the Islamic Republic’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
“After the JCPOA, Iran enriched 24 tons of uranium, not 300kg,” MP Gholamali Jafarzadeh cited Salehi as saying in the session.
Hours later, AEOI’s department of the public relation verified the citation.
Based on the JCPOA, Iran had agreed to reduce its stock of 3.67% enriched uranium to 300 kilograms (about 661 pounds), and sell the remainder to other countries.
However, Salehi has not elaborated on the technicalities related to his comments, as well as how Iran has sold 24 tons of enriched uranium it produced.
Salehi’s revelation appears to be a response to critics who have blamed Hassan Rouhani’s government for reducing the country’s capabilities in the nuclear field.
Meanwhile, the massive amount of enriched uranium claimed by Salehi could trigger doubts over Tehran’s commitments to the terms stipulated by the JCPOA.
In its latest report on July 8, the International Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO) verified that Iran had breached the 3.67% enrichment limit, a move previously announced by Tehran.
Iran had earlier hinted that it could start enriching uranium to 20% if it did not secure European help in the face of crippling U.S. sanctions.
Moreover, IAEO has also confirmed that Iran’s stockpile of uranium has exceeded the 300kg limit agreed in the deal, but no one has hinted about a huge stockpile.
Since Washington’s withdrawal from the JCPOA, and re-imposition of sanctions on Tehran, the authorities of the Islamic Republic have repeatedly warned that Iran would reduce its commitments to the nuclear deal in a step-by-step manner.
Passing the limits set in the JCPOA, experts argue, will reduce the length of time needed for Iran to produce nuclear bombs.
Tehran says all its measures are reversible as soon as other parties to the JCPOA can safeguard its economic interests in the face of the U.S. sanctions.