Iran has begun 60 per cent uranium enrichment at its Natanz plant, the country's nuclear chief said today, days after an explosion at the site that Tehran blamed on Israel, Reuters reported.
"We are producing about nine grams of 60% enriched uranium an hour," Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran, said. "But we have to work on arrangements to drop it to 5 grams per hour."
Earlier, Parliament Speaker Mohammad Ghalibaf said Iranian scientists had successfully started enriching 60 per cent uranium at 12:40am local time (08:10 GMT).
"The will of the Iranian nation makes miracles that thwart any conspiracy," Ghalibaf said on Twitter.
The 2015 agreement sought to make it harder for Iran to develop an atomic bomb – something it denies ever trying to do — in return for lifting sanctions.
Abbas Araqchi, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator at nuclear talks in Vienna, said earlier this week that Iran would activate 1,000 advanced centrifuge machines at Natanz.
An Iranian official told Reuters that "60% enrichment will be in small quantity" only.
Israel, which opposes the nuclear deal, has not formally commented on the incident at Natanz.