Iran Says Only Five Days Needed to Reach 20% Uranium Enrichment

Last week, Iranian President Rohani made similar threats in response to possibility of U.S. imposed sanctions

Iranian President Hassan Rohani discusses priority to protect nuclear deal in Tehran, Iran, August 20, 2017.
Iranian President Hassan Rohani discusses priority to protect nuclear deal in Tehran, Iran, August 20, 2017. STR/AFP

Iranian state television is quoting the country's atomic chief as saying the Islamic Republic would need only five days to ramp up its uranium enrichment to 20 percent — a level at which the material could start to be used for a nuclear weapon.

State TV's website on Tuesday quoted Ali Akbar Salehi as saying: "If we make the determination, we are able to resume 20 percent-enrichment in at most five days."

Last week, Iranian President Hasan Rohani said that Iran could abandon its nuclear agreement with world powers and restart its nulcear program "within hours" if the United States imposes any more new sanctions.

"If America wants to go back to the experience (of imposing sanctions), Iran would certainly return in a short time -- not a week or a month but within hours -- to conditions more advanced than before the start of negotiations," Rouhani told a session of parliament broadcast live on state television. 
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Iran gave up the majority of its stockpile of 20-percent enriched uranium as part of the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

The nuclear deal, which lifted sanctions on Iran, currently caps the Islamic Republic's uranium enrichment at under 5 percent.

Iran long has said its nuclear program is for peaceful purpose.