September 12, 2018 4:42pm
(JTA) — Iran has 3,000 to 4,000 active centrifuge machines for uranium enrichment, its Speaker of the Parliament said.
The number of operating machines is down from the 9,000 the Islamic Republic had running before it signed the 2015 nuclear deal with six world powers, Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said in a rare admission of actual numbers of centrifuges. The United States under President Donald Trump announced in May that it would withdraw from the deal.
The current number of active centrifuge machines is well under the ceiling agreed to in the nuclear deal called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, Larijani told a meeting of clerics. He spoke in Iran’s southwestern province of Fars, the Iranian Tasnim News Agency reported. The deal had been signed with Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany.
Larijani in his remarks accused the U.S. and “the Zionist regime of Israel” of plotting against Iran.
The International Atomic Energy Agency on Monday verified Iran’s full compliance with the terms of the JCPOA.
On Wednesday Iran’s ambassador to international organizations in Vienna, Kazem Gharibabadi, called on the remaining parties to the 2015 nuclear deal to ensure that the deal serves the Islamic Republic’s interests.
“While Iran has continued its cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in an effective way based on goodwill, unfortunately, our interests have not been fully served based on what has been mentioned in the nuclear deal,” Gharibabadi said in an address to the IAEA Board of Governors meeting in the city.
He said Iran has behaved responsibly and fulfilled its obligations so far, unlike the United States, which left the deal and reimposed economic sanctions on Iran.
Meanwhile, Iran’s nuclear chief said on Sunday that Iran has completed building a facility at the Natanz nuclear plant that will build advanced centrifuge machines, Reuters reported, citing official state media.
The official IRNA news agency on Sunday quoted Salehi as saying that Ayatollah Khamenei, the country’s Supreme Leader, “had ordered us to set up and complete a very advanced hall for the construction of modern centrifuges, and this hall has now been fully equipped and set up.”
Khamenei in June reportedly ordered preparations to increase the country’s uranium enrichment capacity if the nuclear agreement with the world powers collapsed.
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