IAEA says in new report that Iran plans to continue to breach 2015 deal with world powers.
Iran plans to install hundreds more advanced uranium-enriching centrifuges at an underground plant in breach of its deal with major powers, Reuters reported on Friday, citing the latest report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN nuclear watchdog.
The confidential IAEA report obtained by Reuters said Iran plans to install three more cascades, or clusters, of advanced IR-2m centrifuges in the underground plant at Natanz, which was apparently built to withstand aerial bombardment.
Iran’s nuclear deal with major powers says Tehran can only use first-generation IR-1 centrifuges, which are less efficient, at the underground plant and that those are the only machines with which Iran may accumulate enriched uranium.
“In a letter dated 2 December 2020, Iran informed the Agency that the operator of the Fuel Enrichment Plant (FEP) at Natanz ‘intends to start installation of three cascades of IR-2m centrifuge machines’ at FEP,” the IAEA’s report to its member states said.
Iran has gradually scaled back its compliance with the 2015 deal, claiming this was in response to US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement in May of 2018.
However, President-elect Joe Biden, who takes office in January, has said he would rejoin the deal and told The New York Times this week that he would do so if Iran returned to compliance with it.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Thursday stressed that his country will not agree to renegotiate the 2015 nuclear deal and urged Biden to abandon what he described as Washington’s “rogue” behavior in withdrawing from the agreement.