Iran’s nuclear chief says the country could reach 190,000 SWUs (separative work unit) of uranium enrichment capacity within 10 months at the Natanz nuclear site, where he inaugurated a facility for producing centrifuges.
Ali Akbar Salehi, who heads the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), made the remarks on state television on Wednesday night following the inauguration of the montage center at the Natanz plant in central Iran.
“We had designated Natanz for producing one million SUWs, and have provided the required infrastructure,” he said.
SWUs are a measure unit of uranium enrichment capacity.
“Within 10 months, with the launch of a set of newly-built enclosures, we could produce 190,000 SWUs at Natanz,” said Salehi, adding, however, that “this does not mean we start the production of advanced centrifuges for industrial use at this facility,” he added.
At this facility, he added, Iran would assemble centrifuges while staying within the limits outlined in the 2015 nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA),
The comments followed the AEOI’s letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), informing the UN nuclear watchdog, which monitors the technical aspect of the JCPOA’s implementation, of the start of certain nuclear activities at Natanz.
The AEOI is acting on an order by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, who urged on Monday preparations for a potential collapse of the Iran deal following the US’s withdrawal.