Iran is beginning the development of a new, more efficient method of enriching uranium in its nuclear facilities.

According to Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, the agency is currently conducting preliminary testing and experimentation with a new process that would allow the production of 20 percent enriched uranium. Salehi stated that the endeavor has purely civilian goals, adding that the low levels of enrichment could only fuel a civilian reactor that would produce energy. Despite, however, his assertions and the low enrichment levels – to develop a nuclear weapon, 90 percent enriched uranium is required – the restarting of the process indicates Tehran’s willingness to exit from the Nuclear Deal that was achieved with the international community back in 2015.

The United States has already withdrawn from the deal when President Donald Trump called it a sham back in May 2018.

According to Iranian state television, Salehi stated that the “preliminary activities for designing modern 20 percent (enriched uranium) fuel have begun.” He added that the Iranian nuclear agency is on the verge of being ready to begin the process.