Tension has soared again after Iran started enriching uranium to 60 percent at its Fordo plant.
“Iran has started producing uranium enriched to 60 percent at the Fordo plant for the first time,” Iran’s ISNA news agency reported.
An atomic bomb requires uranium enriched to 90 percent, so 60 percent is a significant step toward weapons-grade enrichment.
Iran has always denied any ambition to develop an atomic bomb, insisting its nuclear activities are for civilian purposes only.
Under a landmark deal struck in 2015, Iran agreed to mothball the Fordo plant and limit its enrichment of uranium to 3.67 percent, sufficient for most civilian uses, as part of a package of restrictions on its nuclear activities aimed at preventing it from covertly developing a nuclear weapon.
In return, major powers agreed to relax the sanctions they had imposed on Iran’s nuclear program.
But the deal began falling apart in 2018 when then-US president Donald Trump pulled Washington out of the agreement and reimposed crippling economic sanctions.