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Iran Says Won’t Enrich Uranium Past 60%, Threatens To Strike Israel

The head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Agency told a Russian state broadcaster that Iran will not exceed a 60% limit on enriching uranium, even if the talks in Vienna on reviving the nuclear agreement with the world powers is not successful. The comments on Saturday by Iranian nuclear chief Mohammad Eslami come a day after Iran’s paramilitary Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) fired 16 surface-to-surface ballistic missiles with the ability to reach Israel that all hit their predetermined targets at the close of five days of military drills that IRGC generals said were a warning to Israel.

A video on one of the Revolutionary Guard social media accounts showed one of the missiles hitting a target that resembled the Dimona nuclear plant in southern Israel. The same social media accounts earlier this month threatened strikes on major Israeli cities including Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem.

The military drills, called “Great Prophet,” began on Monday in Bushehr, Hormozgan and Khuzestan provinces, each of which border on the Persian Gulf.

Iran would need to begin to enrich uranium at 90% in order to achieve a nuclear bomb. Making the leap from 60% enrichment to 90% is a “short technical step,” according to Al Jazeera.

“These exercises were designed to respond to threats made in recent days by the Zionist regime,” Iran’s armed forces chief of staff Major General Mohammad Bagheri told the state television. “Sixteen missiles aimed and annihilated the chosen target. In this exercise, part of the hundreds of Iranian missiles capable of destroying a country that dared to attack Iran were deployed,” he added.

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz recently informed the US that he had instructed the Israel Defense Forces to prepare for a strike against Iran if talks toward re-establishing the nuclear agreement with the world powers fail.