Skip to main content

IAEA warns Iran enriching uranium with new set of advanced machines

IAEA warns Iran enriching uranium with new set of advanced machines
posted onMarch 9, 2021

Tehran has started enriching uranium with a third set of advanced IR-2m centrifuges at its underground plant at Natanz, the UN nuclear watchdog told its member states on Monday, Reuters reported.

The move is a further breach of Iran's 2015 deal with major powers.

“The deal allows Iran to enrich uranium only with first-generation IR-1 centrifuges at the underground, commercial scale Fuel Enrichment Plant (FEP) at Natanz. In November Iran started enriching there with a first set of IR-2m machines, which are far more efficient, and has since been adding to it,” the news agency said.

Iran’s breaches appear aimed at raising pressure on the US president Joe Biden.

"On 7 March 2021, the Agency verified at FEP that: Iran had begun feeding natural UF6 into the third cascade of 174 IR-2m centrifuges," the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a report obtained by Reuters, referring to uranium hexafluoride, the form in which uranium is fed into centrifuges to purify it.

"The fourth cascade of 174 IR-2m centrifuges was installed but had yet to be fed with natural UF6; installation of a fifth cascade of IR-2m centrifuges was ongoing; and installation of a sixth cascade of IR-2m centrifuges had yet to begin," it added.

Uranium enriched to 90% purity can be used to make an atomic weapon.