12:38 GMT12 May 2021
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    The speaker of the Iranian parliament announced earlier today that the country had reached its goal to produce uranium enriched to 60 percent. The objective was announced just days after an incident involving the electricity distribution network at the Natanz nuclear facility, which Tehran blamed on Israel.

    Israel is ready to do "whatever it takes" to quash Tehran's efforts to obtain nuclear weapons, Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi told journalists after a summit on regional stability in Paphos, Cyprus.

    The warning comes as Iran announced it had met its 60% uranium enrichment goal. The Islamic Republic notified the International Atomic Energy Agency about its intention to enrich uranium at 60% on Tuesday.

    The development comes as Iran reported an incident at its Natanz nuclear facility that affected the plant's electricity grid. The incident was dubbed as "nuclear terrorism" by Iranian authorities and was blamed on Israel.

    Last week, the JCPOA Joint Commission resumed in-person meetings in Vienna, with the first one resulting in the creation of two expert-level working groups to address nuclear-linked challenges and the lifting of US sanctions against Iran.

    The Iranian nuclear deal committed the nation to enriching uranium using only first-generation IR-1 centrifuges at the underground fuel enrichment plant (FEP) in Natanz. However, since the United States quit the agreement and reinstated sanctions on Iran, the Islamic Republic started gradually to relax its adherence to the JCPOA's terms.

    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Thursday that his country is capable of enriching uranium to 90% if necessary, but would only use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and will never seek to obtain nuclear weapons.

    Tags:
    nuclear weapons, uranium, Israel, Iran
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