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World

REUTERS
June 14, 2018

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If nuclear deal unravels: Iran says will begin uranium enrichment at Fordow

BEIRUT: Iran will begin uranium enrichment at its Fordow plant and will install new nuclear equipment at its Natanz facility if it withdraws from a nuclear deal with major powers, said the spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI).

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The fate of the 2015 nuclear deal is unclear after the United States withdrew from it. The other signatory nations - Russia, China, Germany, Britain and France - are trying to salvage the accord, which imposed curbs on Iran´s nuclear programme in return for a lifting of some economic sanctions. Iran has two vast enrichment sites, at Natanz and Fordow. Much of Natanz is deep underground and Fordow is buried inside a mountain, which is widely believed to protect them from aerial bombardment. AEOI spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said in an interview published on Wednesday that new work would begin on the nuclear programme on the orders of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

He did not specify what kind of new equipment might be installed at Natanz. “Currently the Supreme Leader has ordered that the programmes be carried out within the parameters of the nuclear deal,” Kamalvandi told the Young Journalists´ Club (YJC) in an interview.

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