Iran Increases by Fourfold the Rate of Enrichment of Low Enriched Uranium

FILE PHOTO: anti-aircraft guns guarding Natanz Nuclear Facility, Iran. Author:Hamed Saber. [This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.]

LONDON, May 20 (Reuters) Iran has increased by fourfold the rate of production of low enriched uranium, an official in Natanz nuclear facility was cited as saying by Tasnim news agency on Monday, a week after Iran officially stopped some commitments under an international nuclear accord.

Under the agreement, Tehran was allowed to produce low-enriched uranium with a 300-kg limit. Tehran could ship the excess amounts out of the country for storage or sale.

Iran said this month the cap no longer applies as it scaled down commitments in reaction to U.S. unilateral withdrawal from the deal.

It was not clear how far Iran‘s stock of low-enriched uranium was from the 300-kg limit. Under the deal Iran can enrich uranium at 3.67 percent, far below the 90 percent of weapons grade. It is also well below the 20 percent level to which Iran enriched uranium before the deal.

(Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin)