Iranian president says Iran "not looking for nuclear bomb"
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Thursday dismissed concerns about Iran's plan to enrich uranium to 60-percent purity, saying that "we are not looking for a nuclear bomb."
"Some have interpreted that 60 percent is a means to reaching 90 percent (of uranium enrichment). It is not correct. It is wrong to think that we are paving the way for the production of the atomic bomb," Rouhani was quoted by official IRNA news agency as saying.
"Today, if we want, we can enrich 90 percent (uranium), but ... we are not looking for a nuclear bomb," he said.
The United States should return to the 2015 nuclear deal, or the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and remove anti-Iran sanctions, he said.
On Tuesday, Iran informed the International Atomic Energy Agency of its plan to enrich uranium at 60-percent purity following the attack on its Natanz nuclear facility.
Also, Iran said that it would install an additional 1,000 centrifuges with 50 percent higher enrichment capacity at the nuclear facility.
Rouhani said Wednesday that Iran's plan to launch IR-6 centrifuges and 60-percent uranium enrichment were "a response to the evils" committed by other countries.
A blackout struck the Natanz enrichment facility in central Iran on Sunday morning. Iranian authorities have accused Israel of the recent "sabotage."
Under the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran was allowed to enrich uranium only up to 3.67-percent of purity and its stockpile should not be more than 300 kg.
However, in a response to the U.S. withdrawal from the deal and imposition of sanctions, Iran on Jan. 4 this year started to produce uranium enrichment to 20 percent of purity and the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran announced on April 3 that its stockpile has hit 50 kg.