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Iran Admits to Enhancing Uranium Enrichment Process, Raising Breakout Concerns

Iran has been “enhancing” its nuclear program and bolstering its uranium enrichment capability, Iran’s atomic energy chief told a group of the country’s ambassadors and envoys in Tehran on Saturday.

“We are enhancing the industrial section of Iran’s nuclear activities technologically with modern systems and machines,” said Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, according to Fars news agency. He further asserted that the quality of the country’s process of uranium enrichment was improving, Tehran Times reported.

Salehi added that Iran’s nuclear program was on the “right path” and was “compatible with the strategic plans of the country,” according to the IRNA state news agency. He also said that Iran is beginning to sell its heavy water on the open market.

Salehi’s remarks recall a concern raised last year by Mark Dubowitz and Reuel Marc Gerecht of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, who warned that details leaked about the nuclear deal suggested that “eventually the regime could legally develop an industrial-size enrichment program, reducing its bomb breakout time to days and increasing the risk of uranium diversion to covert sites.” Similarly, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned in his speech before Congress last year that the deal “creates an even greater danger that Iran could get to the bomb by keeping the deal.”

President Barack Obama acknowledged last April that given the nuclear advances that Iran could achieve over the course of the deal, Iran’s nuclear “breakout times would have shrunk almost down to zero” by the time that the accord expires.

[Photo: Mehr News ]