Iran’s top leader orders preparation for starting uranium enrichment

TEHRAN, June 4 (Xinhua) — Iran’s supreme leader on Monday ordered the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) to prepare for the enrichment of uranium up to a level of 190,000 SWU (separative work units).

Khamenei issued the order in a televised speech at the ceremony held at the Imam Khomeini Mausoleum in southern Tehran to commemorate the 29th anniversary of the passing away of Imam Khomeini, founder of the Islamic republic.

“It seems … that some European governments expect the Iranian nation to both put up with sanctions and give up its nuclear activities,” said Khamenei.

He was referring to the negotiations Iran is holding with European countries on preserving the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), after the U.S. pullout in May.

“I tell those (European) governments that this bad dream will never come true,” Khamenei said.

The Iranian leader said Iran would not tolerate sanctions on one hand and undergo “nuclear austerity” on the other.

He ordered the AEOI to immediately prepare the ground for the uranium enrichment “up to a level of 190,000 SWU for the time being within the framework of the nuclear deal.”

Based on the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran can enrich uranium up to the level of 3.5 percent, which represents low-enriched uranium.

“Enemies’ measures against Iran show how desperate they are rather than a sign of their power,” Khamenei said.

These measures may slow down “the forward march of Iran, but cannot stop its progress,” he added.

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