Iran’s representative to the Vienna-based organizations says the country has installed new cascades of advanced centrifuges at two nuclear sites in Natanz and Fordow to increase enrichment capacity.
“Thanks to our diligent nuclear scientists, two cascades of 348 IR2m centrifuges with almost 4 times the capacity of IR1 are now running with UF6 successfully in Natanz,” Kazem Gharibabadi said in a post on his Twitter account on Tuesday.
Thanks to our diligent nuclear scientists, two cascades of 348 IR2m centrifuges with almost 4 times the capacity of IR1 are now running with UF6 successfully in Natanz. Installation of 2 cascades of IR6 centrifuges has also been started in Fordow. There’s more to come soon. — Gharibabadi (@Gharibabadi) February 2, 2021
He added that Iran also started the installation of two “cascades of IR6 centrifuges” at its Fordow nuclear facility.
“There’s more to come soon,” the ambassador said.
In another tweet, Gharibabadi said Iran has informed the International Atomic Energy Agency of the progress as planned, adding that the IAEA “is yet able to verify.”
Back in May 2018, former US President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of the multilateral nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), reached between Iran and major world states in 2015 and adopted the so-called maximum pressure campaign against Iran with the declared aim of forcing Tehran to negotiate a new deal.
Iran remained fully compliant with the JCPOA for an entire year but as the remaining European parties failed to fulfill their end of the bargain, Iran began in May 2019 to scale back its JCPOA commitments under Articles 26 and 36 of the accord covering Tehran’s legal rights.
In one of its latest steps away from the deal, Iran on January 4 announced the beginning of the process to enrich uranium to 20-percent purity at Fordow in its latest step to reciprocate the American withdrawal and the European failure.
New US President Joe Biden, who was vice president when the deal was signed, has said he hopes to return Washington to the deal. However, his foreign policy team has said Iran should take the first step by coming back into “full compliance” with the JCPOA.
Iran, however, says it will only reverse its reciprocal measures if the United States lifts its sanctions as a prelude to rejoining the deal.