TEHRAN, November 7. /TASS/. The restart of the Fordow nuclear facility will make it possible for Tehran to restore the enrichment level it had before making a nuclear deal, Iranian Atomic Energy Organization Spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said on Thursday.
"With the restart of the Fordow facility, we have increased our enrichment capacity by 900 SWU (Separate Work Units), taking it up to 9,500 SWU," the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) quoted him as saying. "It is about the same capacity that we used to have before the nuclear deal was made, when the maximum [level] was 11,000 SWU," Kamalvandi added.
The Separate Work Unit (SWU) defines the effort required in the uranium enrichment process and determines the efficiency of nuclear enrichment centrifuges.
On November 6, Iran started to inject gas into centrifuges at the Fordow enrichment plant, making its fourth step to reduce commitments to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Iran nuclear issue
In 2015, Iran and six major powers (five member states of the United Nations Security Council — Russia, the United States, France, the United Kingdom and China — and Germany) agreed on the final Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which particularly stipulated the removal of sanctions imposed on Tehran over its nuclear program.
On May 8, 2018, US President Donald Trump announced Washington’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal. Washington re-imposed previous sanctions on Iran and introduced new ones.
On May 8, 2019, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani reported that Tehran was reducing its commitments under the JCPOA. He pointed out that the other signatories had two months to return to compliance. The deadline expired on July 7. On July 8, Iranian Atomic Energy Organization Spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said that Tehran had exceeded the uranium enrichment level of 3.67%. Iran pledged that it would continue to reduce commitments every 60 days unless other participants restored compliance.
Under the JCPOA, Iran was supposed to repurpose the Fordow site to make sure that it cannot be used for military purposes.