Just a few days after President Trump signed an executive order reinstating economic sanctions, Iran announced they will bring back the second batch of uranium that was transferred to Russia as part of the nuclear deal.
Under the nuclear deal signed in 2015, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran agreed to export its medium-enriched uranium and all but 660 pounds of its almost nine-ton stockpile of low-enriched uranium. In addition to being used to generate electricity, low-enriched uranium can be further enriched for use in nuclear weapons.
“When we were inking the nuclear deal, we stopped production of 20% fuel and deposited the excessive fuel in Russia in nearly 10 batches. We received the first batch nearly seven months ago and the second batch is about to be transferred back to Iran. Any of these batches can be used for nearly one year and therefore, we have 20% fuel for Tehran Reactor for at least 7 to 8 years,” a spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), Behrouz Kamalvandi said in the semi-official Fars news agency on Saturday.
President Trump pulled out of the JCPOA in May and reinstated some sanctions last Tuesday. More sanctions will be reinstated in November.
Last month, Britain, France, and Germany presented a series of economic guarantees to Iran in an effort to save the JCPOA but it was rejected.
In response to the U.S. reinstating sanctions, Iran has threatened to restart its centrifuges for enriching uranium for a weapons program and last month, they reopened a nuclear power plant that had been idle for nine years.
It was announced last Friday that Iran test-fired a ballistic missile last week. At the same time, Iran ran a large-scale naval exercise in the Gulf of Hormuz. It is believed these two moves were intended as a message to the U.S.