IAEA confirms operation of IR4 centrifuges at Natanz facility

IAEA confirms operation of IR4 centrifuges at Natanz facilityInternational Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Grossi told member delegations that Iran has “begun feeding a newly installed cascade of 174 IR-4 centrifuges" to enrich uranium hexafluoride gas up to 5% U-235 uranium, the Vienna-based organization said.

In his report to member nations, Grossi said an additional cascade of IR4 centrifuges has been installed in the Pilot Fuel Enrichment Plant near Natanz. Tehran also has indicated it plans to install a second cascade in the Natanz facility, although installation has yet to begin, Grossi said.

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, Tehran 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 to reciprocate the American withdrawal and the European failure.