Iranian lawmakers announced Wednesday that the country currently has between 3,000 and 4,000 working centrifuges, according to a report from Reuters. The announcement was made by Ali Larijani, the speaker of the Iranian parliament.
Iran claims that if the 2015 nuclear deal collapses, the country will “increase its capacity to enrich uranium,” according to Reuters. Before the agreement was signed, the state had an estimated 20,000 centrifuges, although it is not clear how many were operational.
“The number of active centrifuges has been reduced after the nuclear deal,” Larijani said during the announcement.
This disclosure comes just days after the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Ali Akbar Salehi, announced that the Middle Eastern state has completed work on a new centrifuge manufacturing facility.
“[Ayatollah Khamenei] had ordered us to set up and complete a very advanced hall for the construction of modern centrifuges, and this hall has now been fully equipped and set up,” Salehi said on Sunday via state-owned media outlet IRNA, according to Reuters.
Centrifuges are used to render or enrich U235 isotopes, which are then used as fissionable fuel in nuclear reactors, according to the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC). Salehi stated that it plans to use its enriched uranium to build nuclear reactors for use on ships, although he claims the country is still “10 to 15 years” away from achieving this goal.