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    In this Saturday, Jan. 15, 2011 file photo, a part of Arak heavy water nuclear facilities is seen, near the central city of Arak, 150 miles (250 kilometers) southwest of the capital Tehran, Iran. Iranian state television reported on Saturday, April, 19, 2014 that Vice President Ali Akbar Salehi has said a dispute between world powers and the country over its heavy water reactor at Arak has been “virtually resolved.” Iran and world powers are negotiating the terms of a permanent deal over its contested nuclear program

    Iran Moves Toward New Uranium Enrichment – Iranian Nuclear Chief

    © AP Photo / Mehdi Marizad
    Middle East
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    The head of Iran’s nuclear program, Ali Akbar Salehi, told Iranian state television that the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI) is about to create new types of nuclear fuel on its own.

    “Initial steps have been taken to create modern 20 percent [enriched uranium] fuel and we are on the verge [of producing it],” Salehi said, cited by the Associated Press, noting that Iran no longer needs to rely on reverse-engineering of foreign technologies.

    Salehi made clear that the steps taken by AEOI are preliminary and that the “modern fuel” Iran seeks to produce would increase the efficiency of Tehran’s 50-year-old research reactor that consumes 20-percent enriched fuel.

    READ MORE: US Warns Iran Against Conducting Planned Missile Launches — Pompeo

    “We have made such progress in nuclear science and industry that, instead of reverse-engineering and the use of designs by others, we can design new fuel ourselves,” Salehi said.

    Iran is permitted to produce nuclear fuel under certain conditions that must be approved by a working group convened by the signatories of the 2015 nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

    The JCPOA was agreed to with the condition that Iran wouldn’t enrich uranium above 3.67 percent. Iran had been reaching 20 percent before the deal.  Washington withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the landmark 2015 agreement on Iran's nuclear program, last May, and has reintroduced a series of tough sanctions against the Islamic Republic since then. The withdrawal was criticised by the JCPOA's other signatories, including Russia, China, and several European powers, who have scrambled to save the agreement.

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    Tags:
    Nuclear Agreement, nuclear enrichment, uranium enrichment, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi, Iran
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