Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran, said the Islamic Republic could resume enriching uranium to 20 percent purity – seen as well above the level suitable for fuelling civilian power plants – if it fails to see the economic benefit of the 2015 deal that curbed its nuclear program.
“If we cannot sell our oil and we don’t enjoy financial transactions, then I don’t think keeping the deal will benefit us anymore,” Salehi told Reuters ahead of a meeting with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini in Brussels.
“I will pass certainly a word of caution to her (Mogherini): I think the period of patience for our people is getting more limited and limited. We are running out of the assumed timeline, which was in terms of months.”
Following the meeting, Mogherini said she and Salehi remained committed to safeguarding the nuclear accord.
“They equally expressed their determination to preserve the nuclear agreement as a matter of respecting international agreements and a key pillar for European and regional security,” Mogherini’s office said in a statement.
It said Mogherini also repeated the EU stance “on issues of concern such as Iran’s role in the region” – alluding to Iranian involvement in Middle East conflicts from Yemen to Syria.
Under the 2015 deal with world powers, Iran restricted its enrichment program, widely seen in the West as a disguised effort to develop the means to make atomic bombs, in exchange for an end to international sanctions.
Read more: Reuters
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