ANKARA (Reuters) – Iran will inform the U.N. nuclear watchdog in Vienna on Tuesday over its start of a process to increase the country’s uranium enrichment capacity, Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi told ISNA news agency.
“In a letter that will be handed over to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) … Iran will announce that the process of increasing the capacity to produce … UF6 (uranium hexafluoride) … will start on Tuesday,” Kamalvandi said.
He said Iran had the capacity to accelerate production of centrifuges, which are used to enrich uranium. The UF6 is a feedstock for centrifuges.
Iran’s ultimate authority Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Monday he had ordered preparations to increase uranium enrichment capacity if a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers falls apart after the U.S. withdrawal from it last month.
“The leader (Khamenei) meant that we should accelerate some process … linked to our nuclear work capacity to move forward faster in case needed,” Kamalvandi said.