Iran will begin 20 percent uranium enrichment ‘as soon as possible’

The nation of Iran said Saturday that it plans to begin the enrichment of uranium up to 20 percent at its underground Fordo facility “as soon as possible,” as reported by Fox News.

The action would bring Iran close to weapons-grade uranium—a dangerous measure for the West as relations between the Persian nation and America deteriorate. This Sunday mark’s the one-year anniversary of the killing of Qasem Soleimani, an Iranian major general with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, who was planning attacks on American targets in the region, according to U.S. intelligence officials.

Ali Akbar Salehi, the civilian Atomic Energy Organization of Iran who also studied in America, told Iranian state television an analogy to illustrate the country’s leadership to take action.

“We are like soldiers and our fingers are on the triggers,” Salehi said, as reported by Fox. “The commander should command and we shoot. We are ready for this and will produce (20% enriched uranium) as soon as possible.”

The International Atomic Energy Agency acknowledged the enrichment move Friday.

“Iran has informed the agency that in order to comply with a legal act recently passed by the country’s parliament, the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran intends to produce low-enriched uranium … up to 20 percent at the Fordo Fuel Enrichment Plant,” the IAEA said.

This news follows a top Iranian official declaring Friday that President Trump and anyone else responsible for the killing of Soleimani will “not be safe on Earth.”

Referring to Trump and US leaders, Iran judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi said no one, including Trump, are “immune from justice” for their part in the drone strike that killed the top general one year ago, as reported by Fox News.

“They will witness severe revenge,” Raisi said. “What has come so far has only been glimpses.”

As tensions worsen between the two countries, enriched uranium in the hands of the Iranians will only increase tensions and increase fears of potential nuclear fighting.

You can follow Ben Wilson on Twitter @BenDavisWilson