Exceeding the 3.67 Enrichment Level

July 13, 2019

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

In a joint press conference with the government spokesman and Foreign Ministry deputy Mr. B.Kamalvandi, AEOI spokesman and deputy head for International, Legal and Parliamentary affairs on 8 of July in a press briefing with the presence of Mr. A.Araghchi, Foreign Ministry political deputy and Mr. Rabiee, government spokesman, responded to the media inquiries concerning the second phase of the commitment reduction technical aspects as the following:

Today corresponds to the 60th day of the deadline set, and according to the decision issued by the Honorable President and the Supreme National Security Council we have moved to the second related phase. The last issued announcement referred to the time required for passing over the 300kg enriched uranium and 130 tons of heavy water, but in the new step, time is not relevant. At present we have submitted (DIQ) copy to the IAEA representative and in a few hours time the process of enrichment above 3/67 level will start. We envisage that by the time sample taken by the agency tomorrow, the limit has passed.

The above action necessitates our demands for feeding required fuel to our power and reactor plants, which have different percentage criteria. The first priority is related to the power plant fuel needs. Our reserves according to the first step phase were to be elevated. At present there is no need for Tehran research reactor fuel. If deemed necessary we will move in that direction. With respect to the U.S action for holding the Board of Governors session, It should be stressed that this move is out of frustration. It is evident that they are isolated. The Board of Governors carries safeguard related responsibilities. None of the two issues, either increase of the enriched reserves or exceeding the 3.67 level is not safeguard related. In such matters, there is no impediment for our country from the safeguard angle or protocol related perspective. These are JCPOA related matters that have their own mechanism. Therefore, the expected results are obvious beforehand.

With regard to the Khondab heavy water reactor, it should be reminded, that the pipes inside the main vessel are filled with cement. It could be revived, but technically the neutron load needed for production of radioisotopes or radiopharmaceutical in the new reactor is many times more. In addition to that, the possibility for utilizing the new design reactor, upon necessary PIE (radiation) for plant fuel production is not feasible at present. Therefore we prefer the new modernized reactor. The opposing parties were worried about plutonium in the previous reactor which was not our objective.

The progress for reactor modernization will only be facilitated provided the equipments are available on time. The design process is performed by our own experts provided the equipments are supplied. Otherwise the process will slow down. Therefore we must use the project mainly to move to both systems, at present preference is the new reactor, which although lacks behind the schedule, but recently we have noticed positive development. The Chinese collaboration has been good so far/but they are pressured by the Americans. The Americans have declared they will reconsider, with respect to nuclear waivers, of which Khondab reactor could be considered one. We will go on based on the opposing party's performance. We will continue working in the U.K-Chinese workshop, although we are a bit pessimistic regarding the British, but currently the work is going on. With respect to the enrichment increase, there is no need to add up the number of centrifuges, and specific technical applied pressure will suffice.

Speaking of the third step phase, we are technical implementers, just provide information for high decision making, and provide advice and declare readiness to enrich at whatever level.

At present we have sufficient resources for radiopharmaceutical production and baseless media rumors should be disregarded. At present hundreds of thousands are benefiting from this medication. Currently the country needs three types of fuel. One being power plant fuel, other research reactor fuel and nuclear Propulsion fuel. All types demand various percentages. Now we have enough of the 20 percent fuel. The emphasis is on power plant needs. The increase of 3/67 has two advantages. One being is that it provides plant fuel need; secondly it provides the ground for better speed and facilitation for further enrichment.