Iran increases stockpile of low-grade enriched uranium by 4 times: official

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Iran has started to increase its stockpile of 3.67% enriched uranium by four times at its central Natanz nuclear plant, Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), announced on Monday.

The decision to increase the stockpile of low-grade enriched uranium is a reaction to the "inaction" of the Europeans to save Iran's interests amidst the U.S. withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal and reimposition of its economic and energy sanctions on Tehran, Kamalvandi was quoted by official IRNA news agency as saying.

The Iranian official did not specify the current reserves or the target amount of the low-grade enriched uranium.

Following the U.S. quit from the nuclear deal last year, "the Islamic republic waited long enough (for the parties to protect Iran's interests) and the current step that Iran is taking is based on its own rights," he said.

The International Atomic Energy Agency has already been informed about Iran's move to increase the stockpile of 3.67% enriched uranium, he added.

On May 8, Iran announced that the Islamic republic upholds its rights to stop implementing some parts of its obligation under the 2015 nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in line with protecting the national interests.

Iran also gave Europe 60 days to ensure that Iran's interests were protected under the agreement. Otherwise, Tehran said it was ready to take steps towards suspending further commitments under the deal.

Iran says its moves to withdraw from parts of its nuclear obligations are reactions to the U.S. quit of the JCPOA last year, as well as a reaction to the Europeans' slow measures to protect Iran's economic interests under the accord.

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