Iran said Tuesday that it will start uranium enrichment to the purity level of 60 percent, just days after a suspected Israeli attack on its Natanz nuclear facility, local media reported.
Speaking in Vienna on Tuesday, Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araqchi was quoted by the semi-official Tasmin News Agency as saying the decision was conveyed to the International Atomic Energy Agency in a letter earlier in the day.
The move would be a serious breach of the nuclear deal that Iran inked with world powers in 2015.
Iran had in recent months raised enrichment to 20 percent purity, far above the 3.67 percent limit under the nuclear deal.
Araqchi also said that not only will Iran soon replace the centrifuges that were damaged by the sabotage at Natanz, but it will also install an additional 1,000 centrifuges of 50 percent higher enrichment capacity at the nuclear facility, Iran's Press TV reported.
The New York Times reported that an explosive device was secretly brought into the Natanz facility and detonated remotely, destroying the power system.
Iran had just announced the day before the attack that it had started up advanced IR-6 uranium enrichment centrifuges at Natanz, also in a breach of its undertakings under the 2015 nuclear deal which stipulates that Iran can only use first-generation IR-1 centrifuges.
Under the pact originally struck with six major powers -- Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States -- Iran agreed to curb its nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of sanctions.
But U.S. President Joe Biden's predecessor Donald Trump criticized the deal as flawed and pulled the United States out of it in May 2018.
Iran countered the U.S. move by increasing its nuclear activities, such as uranium enrichment, beyond the limits set in the deal and developing its nuclear facilities and enrichment capabilities.
Talks have been held to find a way for the United States to re-enter the agreement.