Iran announced Tuesday it is planning to open a new manufacturing center to produce centrifuges, claiming the opening would not violate the 2015 nuclear agreement with the U.S. and other countries.
Centrifuges are machines necessary to enrich uranium for use in reactors and weapons.
According to the AFP, officials in Tehran sent a letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency, explaining their new plans for opening the facility in Natanz.
Iranian government officials said that just because the country has built the new equipment, “does not mean that we will start assembling the centrifuges.”
Although the announcement comes during a time where the future of Iran’s participation in the nuclear deal is ambiguous, the leader of the of Iranian Atomic Energy Organisation Ali Akbar Salehi told the AFP that the recent announcements “do not mean the negotiations (with Europe) have failed.”
President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Iran deal last month.
Officials from the European Union have so far agreed with Salehi’s statement and have concurred that the manufacturing of centrifuges by itself does not constitute a breach of the deal. However, officials from the EU have expressed their displeasure with the announcement.
“[Iran] will not contribute to build confidence in the nature of the Iranian nuclear programme,” said Maja Kocijancic, the spokeswoman for EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini of Italy, told the AFP.
While Iranian officials state that Iran’s nuclear ambitions are purely for civilian use, the country’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei continues to threaten retaliation for sanctions and calls for the destruction of Israel, a country he referred to as a “malignant cancer” during a speech he gave on Sunday.