Standing in opposition to the pressure from the West, Iran’s supreme leader warned that the Islamic Republic would increase the purity of its enriched uranium up to 60% if necessary; Khamenei denied that the Republic is seeking a nuclear weapon.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued a warning this week that the Islamic Republic is prepared to increase its enriched uranium’s purity to 60% if necessary. Currently, Iran is purifying its enriched uranium at 20%, which increased from over 3% just months ago. 60% would be a threefold increase and bring the purity level significantly closer to 90% – the number needed for weapons-grade material.
Khamenei’s comments came amid an uncertain immediate future concerning the Iran nuclear deal’s redemption between Iran and the West, especially the United States.
An Iranian media outlet recorded him saying that “Iran’s uranium enrichment level will not be limited to 20%. We will increase it to whatever level the country needs…We may increase it to 60%…Americans and the European parties to the deal have used unjust language against Iran. … Iran will not yield to pressure. Our stance will not change.”
Khamenei also claimed that Iran is not seeking to weaponize its nuclear program.
However, anything over 3.67% stands in violation of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or Iran nuclear deal, which the Iranian regime has drastically violated since the Trump administration formally withdrew from it in 2018. The decision to withdraw came after the US cited a heap of violations by Iran.
In 2019, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also voiced that the Iranians were violating the deal all along, showing an inventory of evidence to his audience.