0227 GMT February 22, 2019
“Based on a decree by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution [Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei] and the emphasis put on this issue by the AEOI chief, the country is ready to increase its uranium enrichment capacity to 190,000 SWUs,” Kamalvandi said, according to Press TV.
In July 2018, Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the AEOI, said that Iran had set up a factory to manufacture rotors used in advanced centrifuge machines, which was part of plans to elevate the country’s uranium enrichment capacity to 190,000 SWUs.
The factory had the capacity to manufacture around 60 IR-6 centrifuge machines each day, Salehi said.
SWU is the standard measure of the effort required to separate isotopes of uranium during an enrichment process. 1 SWU is equivalent to one kg of separative work.
Back in January, Ayatollah Khamenei ordered the AEOI to make preparations for the enrichment of uranium up to a level of 190,000 SWUs without any delay.
“It seems from what they say that some European governments expect the Iranian nation to both put up with sanctions and give up its nuclear activities and continue to observe limitations [on its nuclear program]. I tell those governments that this bad dream will never come true,” the Leader said.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Kamalvandi said Iran is ready to increase the level of its uranium enrichment form three to 20 percent if necessary.
He added that Iran had drawn up plans to start re-designing the Arak heavy water reactor given the fact that the signatories to the nuclear deal have failed to fulfill their commitments.
The official also stated that the AEOI plans to use new machines to enrich uranium and has made required preparations in this regard.
Under an international nuclear deal in 2015, which put an end to the decade-old dispute over Iran’s nuclear program, Iran agreed to reduce the purity of its enriched uranium to three percent.
Following the withdrawal of Washington from the Iranian nuclear deal in May last year and subsequent reimposition of sanctions against Tehran, Iran has urged the remaining parties to the deal to step up measures to secure the country's economic interests enshrined by the deal.
Otherwise, Tehran has warned that it may reconsider its approach to the deal, if the signatories fail to guarantee Iran's benefits from the accord.
Kamalvandi added that the latest achievements of Iran in the field of nuclear technology will be unveiled in the first month of the forthcoming Iranian calendar year (starting March 21, 2019), one of the most important of which is the mass production of Oxygen-18.
Noting that production of Oxygen-18 is a long stride in the country's nuclear chemistry, Kamalvandi said, "At the present time, increased production of stable atoms of this substance to be used in medicine and treatment of diseases has been put on the agenda [of the AEOI]."
He added that only five countries in the world are capable of producing Oxygen-18, noting that every kilogram of heavy water containing Oxygen-18 is sold for about $30,000, which indicates the high value of this advanced technology.