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Iran Says it Enriches Uranium to 60% Purity at Fordo Site

This is a locator map for Iran with its capital, Tehran. (AP Photo)
This is a locator map for Iran with its capital, Tehran. (AP Photo)

Iran has begun producing enriched uranium at 60% purity at the country’s underground Fordo nuclear plant, official media reported Tuesday, describing it as a response to a resolution by the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog.

The increased enrichment, reported by the official news agency IRNA, was seen as a significant addition to the country’s nuclear program.

From Vienna, the U.N. nuclear watchdog — the International Atomic Energy Agency or IAEA — said the 60% enrichment at Fordo comes on top of similar production at the Natanz plant in central Iran.

The IAEA also said that Iran plans a “significant expansion” in its production of low-enriched uranium at Fordo and a second production building at Natanz. Fordo is some 100 kilometers (62 miles) south of the capital of Tehran.

Enrichment to 60% purity is one short, technical step away from weapons-grade levels of 90%. Nonproliferation experts have warned in recent months that Iran now has enough 60%-enriched uranium to reprocess into fuel for at least one nuclear bomb.

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