The head of Iran’s nuclear energy commission, Ali Akbar Salehi, has announced that the country has increased its production of enriched uranium. In the past two months, production has increased from 450g per day to 5kg per day.
The move signals Iran’s intentions to continue backing away from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which was brokered in 2015 during the Obama administration. President Trump withdrew from the deal in 2018 and followed up by reinstating harsh sanctions on Iran. It has also threatened its European allies with secondary sanctions if they attempt to circumvent the US and increase trade with Iran. Since then, Iran announced its own partial withdrawal from the deal and has gradually walked back its compliance with the deal’s terms.
The increase in production announced in November was made possible by the introduction of several new, more advanced centrifuges. This technology would have been prohibited by the Iran nuclear deal. Iran has repeatedly stated that it has no intentions of using its enriched uranium to build a nuclear bomb. Experts, though, caution that the increased production of enriched uranium would make building a bomb possible in a matter of months.