Iranian soldiers guard anti-aircraft battery, Natanz uranium enrichment facility
Iranian soldiers guard anti-aircraft battery, Natanz uranium enrichment facilityReuters

Iran has notified the international nuclear watchdog that it will expand its capacity for uranium enrichment.

The country’s nuclear chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, told the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today that the Iran Atomic Energy Organization is opening a center for producing new centrifuges for uranium enrichment at the Natanz nuclear site.

Salehi added that the expansion does not violate the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or the Iran nuclear deal, signed in 2015 with the world powers that President Donald Trump pulled out of last month.

Under the agreement, Iran can build parts for the centrifuges as long as it does not put them into operation within the first decade of the signing.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of Israel responded to the news in a short Hebrew-language video posted on You Tube and social media.

“The day before yesterday Ayatollah Khamenei, the ruler of Iran, declared his intention to destroy the State of Israel,” Netanyahu said. “Yesterday he explained how he would do this – with the unrestricted enrichment of uranium in order to produce an arsenal of nuclear bombs.”

He concludes: “We are not surprised. We will not allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons.”

Yesterday, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei called for his country to increase its nuclear capability.

“Iranian nation & government will not stand being under both sanctions & nuclear restrictions,” he posted on Twitter. “The Atomic Energy Organization of #Iran must immediately make the preparations for achieving 190K SWU– for now within #JCPOA— starting tomorrow.”

In another tweet he called Israel “a malignant cancerous tumor in the West Asian region that has to be removed and eradicated.”

Israel responded by posting a gif of the teen movie “Mean Girls” that reads “Why are you so obsessed with me?”