Iran presses ahead with uranium enrichment
Iran has begun enriching uranium with newly installed advanced centrifuges, in breach of the 2015 nuclear agreement.
The International Atomic Energy Agency told NHK on Tuesday that Iran began enrichment activities with the new centrifuges last Saturday at its core nuclear facility in Natanz.
Iran’s Ambassador to the IAEA, Kazem Gharibabadi, tweeted that the centrifuges have four times the capacity of conventional ones.
He wrote that another type of advanced centrifuges is also being installed at a nuclear facility in Fordo, adding that “there’s more to come soon.” Both Natanz and Fordo are in central Iran.
Enriching uranium with the advanced equipment is banned under the nuclear accord, due to the risk of the end-product being diverted for military use.
Iran has signaled that it may stop accepting spot inspections by the IAEA later this month. The series of moves are seen as putting pressure on US President Joe Biden.
The United States pulled out of the nuclear agreement under the presidency of Donald Trump, and re-imposed economic sanctions.
Iran wants the Biden administration to lift the sanctions. But the country’s push for nuclear development is raising strong concerns from both the US and Europe.