Mohammad Eslami, who was appointed in late August as the new head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), bragged on Saturday that Iran’s stockpile of 20% enriched uranium exceeded 120 kilograms.
Eslami said in a televised interview on Saturday night: “We have exceeded 120 kg and we are ahead of schedule in this matter. Earlier, according to the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), 20% uranium fuel was supposed to be given to the Tehran reactor, but it was not given.”
He was referring to the fact that under the 2015 nuclear deal, the other signatories were obligated to provide Iran with 20% enriched uranium that was needed for its research reactor.
“This fuel is one of the basic needs of our country used to be supplied through the United States and later bought from Argentina, and now we are able to produce it,” Eslami said. “If we did not produce it by ourselves this would have turned into one of our problems.”
Under the Shah, in the 1960s, the United States built for Iran a nuclear reactor in Tehran to produce radioisotopes for use in medical treatments and agriculture. The same reactor has been modified to run on 20% enriched uranium, which Iran started producing in 2012. The IAEA estimates that Iran has around 85 kg of 20% enriched uranium, up from the 63 kg the atomic agency reported last May.