Iran Continues Uranium Enrichment

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad / AP


Iran continues to enrich uranium to 20 percent—significantly more than is needed for a peaceful civilian nuclear program—according to senior Iranian officials.

Twenty percent-enriched uranium is a critical threshold in the debate over Iran’s nuclear program, which appears to continue unimpeded by Western sanctions. From this level, Iran could easily enrich uranium to the level required for nuclear warheads.

News outlets wrongly reported over the weekend that Iran has halted such enrichment.

"The 20 percent enrichment has not been and will not be stopped in Iran," said Mohammad Hassan Asafari, a member of Iran’s legislature who sits on the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, according to Iran’s Mehr News Agency.

Asafari said that Iran would not stop enriching uranium to this level, but would be willing to "temporarily" purchase 20 percent enriched uranium from other sources if Western sanctions against the country are lifted.

Nuclear experts have warned that Iran could easily assemble a nuclear weapon using this uranium, which Iran has stockpiled in recent months.