Iran Has Installed More Advance Uranium Centrifuges: IAEA Confirms
The International Atomic Energy Agency announced on Monday that Iran has begun installing more advanced centrifuges in order to enrich higher-grade uranium faster, even though it is a complete breach of Iran’s nuclear deal with major powers known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
The IAEA statement is released one day after the Director-General of this UN nuclear watchdog visits Iran.
The Statement, published on September 9, confirms that on Saturday, September 7, Iran “had installed or was installing 22 IR-4 centrifuges, one IR-5 centrifuge, 30 IR-6, and three IR-6s.”
The JCPOA only allows Iran to produce enriched uranium with just over 5,000 of its first-generation IR-1 centrifuge machines. It can use far fewer advanced centrifuges for research but without accumulating enriched uranium.
“All of the installed centrifuges had been prepared for testing with UF6 (gas),” but none of those centrifuges were being tested during the weekend, says IAEA.
Cornel Feruta, the director-general of IAEA said in the Monday board of governors meeting: “I emphasized the importance of full and timely cooperation by Iran. It is important to advance our interactions and, therefore, I also stressed the need for Iran to respond promptly to Agency questions related to the completeness of Iran’s safeguards declarations. The Agency will continue its efforts and will remain actively engaged. Time is of the essence.”
One year after the United States left the JCPOA and began re-imposing economic and political sanctions on the Islamic Republic, Iran started the first of its three steps to scale down compliance with its commitments to the deal.
The most recent reports by IAEA show that Iran has now breached the deal both in the amount of enriched uranium and in purity.
According to the report, Iran’s enriched uranium stockpile is at 357.39 kg, way over the 300 kg cap. Iran’s uranium enrichment grade is at 4.5 percent purity, while the JCPOA allows for 3.67 percent.