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Iran can enrich uranium at any level: AEOI
Tehran: A senior official at Iran's nuclear organization (AEOI) has said that the country was capable of enriching uranium up to whatever level of purity, and would do so if required to.
"Right now, if the (country's) establishment deems necessary, the Atomic Energy Organization (of Iran) will, in its capacity as the executor, have the capability to enrich uranium at whatever percentage of purity," Press TV reported on Saturday citing Ali Asghar Zare'an, a special assistant to Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the AEOI, as saying.
"Currently, the nuclear industry is one of the constituents of the Islamic country's power and authority," he added.
Zarean noted that Iran was currently producing 10 kg of uranium each day at under 5 per cent purity level, Xinhua news agency said in a report.
The stockpile of low-grade enriched uranium produced by the country has exceeded 1,200 kg, he said, adding that "it is being increased at full speed".
Iran was now injecting gas into its IR-4 and IR-2m generation of centrifuges for producing enriched uranium, he said.
He added that Iran was also in the process of devising IR-9 generation centrifuges.
In May 2018, the Islamic Republic began a set of nuclear counter-measures in retaliation for the US' departure from the historic 2015 nuclear accord, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), between Tehran and major world powers, Press TV reported.
As part of the retaliatory steps, Iran stopped recognizing the limits set by the deal on the level of its enrichment activities and the volume of its heavy water reservoir.
On January 5, the country said it would no longer observe any operational limitations on its nuclear industry, whether concerning the capacity and level of uranium enrichment, the volume of stockpiled uranium or research and development.
The announcement came two days after Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani was killed in an American drone attack in Baghdad.
Florida man held for pointing lasers as planes landed
Sarasota (US): A man was arrested for pointing lasers at planes trying to land at a Florida airport and injuring a pilot in the process, authorities said.
Charlie Chapman Jr. aimed his laser pointer toward a plane four times and toward a sheriff's helicopter once as they tried to land last week at Sarasota Bradenton Airport, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.
One pilot said the laser hit him directly in the eyes and caused temporary blindness and lingering blurred vision. The Orlando Sentinel reported a video also showed a man appearing to throw objects at the sheriff's helicopter as it tried to land.
After several pilots reported the incidents, the investigation led deputies to Chapman.
They found the 41-year-old on a forklift Wednesday night. He made a striking motion toward them with a hammer, prompting deputies to use a stun gun on him, according to the sheriff's office.
Chapman was charged with aggravated assault on an officer, pointing a laser at a pilot with injury, pointing a laser at a pilot without injury and resisting without violence.
It's unclear if he had retained an attorney who could comment on the charges.