Iran Capable of Restarting Uranium Enrichment to 20% Within Days - Nuclear Chief

© Sputnik / Valeriy Melnikov / Go to the photo bankBushehr Nuclear Power Plant, Iran
Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant, Iran - Sputnik International
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Iran can easily restore its military nuclear capabilities by resuming the process of uranium enrichment to 20 percent should the US keep escalating the situation around Tehran's alleged violation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi said Tuesday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On August 15, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told lawmakers that Tehran could withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) within hours if the United States continued to escalate rhetoric about adding new sanctions.

"If we make the decision, we would be able to resume the process of [uranium] 20 percent-enrichment in five days," Salehi said in an interview with the state broadcaster IRIB.

A long-range Qadr ballistic missile is launched in the Alborz mountain range in northern Iran on March 9, 2016. (File) - Sputnik International
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Salehi noted that the AEOI was willing to maintain the JCPOA but not at any price.

On July 29, the US Senate approved a bill on new non-nuclear sanctions against 18 individuals and entities in Iran over the country's missile program and alleged human rights violations. The move has been widely criticized by Iranian senior officials, claiming that the US bill violated the provisions of the JCPOA. Tehran vowed to impose retaliatory measures against US individuals and entities.

On July 14, 2015, China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States and Germany, collectively referred to as the P5+1 group, signed the JCPOA with Iran on the latter's nuclear program. The deal stipulated a gradual lifting of anti-Iran sanctions in exchange for Tehran's assurances that its nuclear program would remain in a peaceful nature.

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