If Trump pulls the US out of the Iran deal, Iran says it can start enriching uranium in 2 days

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In this photo released by the Iranian Presidency Office, President Hassan Rouhani, left, speaks as he is accompanied by the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi on a visit to the Bushehr nuclear power plant.
AP Photo/Iranian Presidency Office, Mohammad Berno

ANKARA (Reuters) – Iran said on Monday it could produce higher enriched uranium within two days if the United States quit a 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and six major powers, Tehran’s Arabic language al-Alam TV reported.

“If America pulls out of the deal … Iran could resume its 20 percent uranium enrichment in less than 48 hours,” Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran, told al-Alam TV.

Uranium refined to 20 percent fissile purity is well beyond the 5 percent normally required to fuel civilian nuclear power plants, though still well short of highly enriched, or 80-90 percent, purity needed for a nuclear bomb.

Kamalvandi said the deal – under which Iran curbed its uranium enrichment to help ensure it was for peaceful purposes only and secured an end to financial sanctions in return – is not re-negotiable, as demanded by the United States. The deal’s European signatories – Germany, Britain and France, as well as Russia and China – are committed to preserving the agreement.