The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has verified that Iran has started enriching uranium up to 60-percent purity level, a measure the Islamic Republic had promised to take following an Israeli act of nuclear terrorism against it.
The United Nations nuclear watchdog verified the development on Saturday, and Director-General Rafael Grossi relayed the confirmation in a notification addressed to the agency’s Board of Governors.
“Grossi said the Agency today verified that Iran had begun the production of UF6 (uranium hexafluoride) enriched up to 60% U-235 (the main fissile isotope of uranium),” an IAEA spokesman said.
The process got underway, the official said “by feeding UF6 enriched up to 5% U-235 simultaneously into two cascades of IR-4 centrifuges and IR-6 centrifuges” at Natanz Nuclear Facility in the central Iranian province of Isfahan.
The Islamic Republic had announced that it sought to take the measure after an Israeli act of sabotage cut the power across the installation on Sunday. According to officials, the terror act did not lead to any casualties, damages or complications.
Last year too, the facility came under another terrorist move to blow up parts of the installation in an attack that Tel Aviv has been suspected of orchestrating.
Tel Aviv has also assassinated as many as seven Iranian nuclear scientists in the past. International organizations, including the UN and the IAEA, however, never take the regime to task either over the brazen atrocities or the regime’s own military nuclear program, which is the only one in the Middle East.
Protection by the United States, the regime’s biggest and oldest ally, has been blamed for Tel Aviv’s constant exoneration.
Kazem Gharibabadi, Iran’s ambassador to international organizations in Vienna, said Iran had told the agency that the uranium hexafluoride that has been produced by the country through the process enjoys a 55.3-percent purity level.
According to the IAEA spokesperson, the agency took a sample of the produced UF6 to independently verify the enrichment level declared by Iran.
After the Israeli operation targeted the Natanz-based site, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said, “If the Zionists plotted against our nation, we would respond,” calling the decision towards 60-percent enrichment “the first such [retaliatory] step.”