“Iran’s enrichment limit will not be 20%. We will act according to our needs (…) We could increase the enrichment to 60%”, he said, according to a statement published on its official website.
Mr. Khamenei’s statement comes on the eve of the entry into force of a law aimed at limiting the inspection capacities of its nuclear activities in the face of continued US sanctions.
Iranian Parliament law requires the Iranian government to limit certain inspections by the UN nuclear agency on non-nuclear facilities, including suspicious military sites, if the United States does not lift its sanctions imposed in 2018 to Iran after their unilateral withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal.
In early January, under the same law, the government relaunched uranium enrichment activities to 20%, a level the country practiced before the agreement.
The government “has not abandoned its commitments and is gradually reducing some of them, which are still reversible in the event that (other countries party to the agreement) return to their responsibilities,” Khamenei said. “Westerners know very well that we are not looking (to build) nuclear weapons.”
Raising the enrichment to 60% would bring the Islamic Republic closer to the 90% required to make an atomic bomb. But Iran has repeatedly denied seeking to acquire nuclear weapons.