Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Iran Hikes Nuclear Enrichment, Stoking Tensions Before Talks” – below is their description.
Iran will ramp up its uranium enrichment levels close to weapons grade in retaliation for an attack on one of its leading atomic facilities, sending a jolt through big power talks on containing the Islamic Republic’s nuclear work due to resume this week.
Tehran said it will for the first time begin producing highly enriched uranium — purified to 60% from current levels of 20% — from Wednesday in response to the sabotage of its Natanz nuclear site at the weekend, which it has blamed on Israel and called an act of “nuclear terrorism.”
The International Atomic Energy Agency has been informed of the move, state-run Press TV said, quoting Deputy Foreign Ministry Abbas Araghchi. He said 1,000 new centrifuges will be added to the damaged Natanz facility, adding that the purified material would be used for medical purposes. The IAEA didn’t respond to requests for comment.
But raising the level to 60% means Iran’s stockpile could quickly be further enriched to 90% of Uranium-235 isotopes, the threshold for weapons manufacture. Until now, Iran has stopped just short of producing 20% enriched material — a threshold considered to be low-enriched because of its use in power and research reactors — and denies it intends to produce atomic warheads.
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The International Atomic Energy Agency is an international organization that seeks to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and to inhibit its use for any military purpose, including nuclear weapons. The IAEA was established as an autonomous organisation on 29 July 1957.
Iran, also called Persia, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia. Its central location in Eurasia and proximity to the Strait of Hormuz give it significant geostrategic importance. Tehran is the capital and largest city.
Iran is home to one of the world’s oldest civilizations, beginning with the formation of the Elamite kingdoms in the fourth millennium BC. The Iranian Revolution established the current Islamic Republic in 1979.
Iran’s political system combines elements of a presidential democracy and an Islamic theocracy. Iran is a founding member of the UN, ECO, OIC, and OPEC. It is a major regional and middle power and has large reserves of fossil fuels — including the world’s largest natural gas supply and the third largest proven oil reserves.
The country’s rich cultural legacy is reflected in part by its 22 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Historically a multi-ethnic country, Iran remains a pluralistic society comprising numerous ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups, the largest being Persians, Azeris, Kurds, Mazandaranis and Lurs.
Israel, a Middle Eastern country on the Mediterranean Sea, is regarded by Jews, Christians and Muslims as the biblical Holy Land. Its most sacred sites are in Jerusalem. Within its Old City, the Temple Mount complex includes the Dome of the Rock shrine, the historic Western Wall, Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Israel’s financial hub, Tel Aviv, is known for its Bauhaus architecture and beaches.