A confidential report from the International Atomic Energy Agency allegedly reveals that Iran is planning to accelerate its uranium enrichment capabilities in a move that would further violate its nuclear agreement with major world powers, according to Reuters
The Islamic Republic plans to install hundreds of more advanced centrifuges at its underground facility at Natanz, according to the report obtained Friday by Reuters. Iranian officials allegedly told the IAEA that they are installing three clusters of IR-2m centrifuges at the facility, which are more advanced than the IR-1 machines currently allowed to be used at Natanz, reports Reuters.
Iran plans to begin increasing its nuclear enrichment levels and prohibit international inspectors from accessing nuclear facilities if U.S. oil and banking sanctions are not lifted by this coming February. https://t.co/zIg0wN7M5B
— Axios (@axios) December 2, 2020
The first cluster of centrifuges has reportedly already been moved into the facility, which was built to be immune to aerial bombardment. The first cluster was made up of already-existing centrifuges that were being used above ground, but the other two clusters would include machines that have not been used since the 2015 JCPOA agreement was signed, according to Reuters.
The United States broke with other western powers when President Donald Trump withdrew the country from the JCPOA in 2018. Since then, Iran has continually violated the agreement in different ways as the United States has placed economic sanctions on it, Reuters reports. (RELATED: Here’s Where Biden’s Secretary Of State Pick Tony Blinken Stands On China, Iran, Russia, And More)
Tehran claims to be able to reverse many of the violations quickly if Washington de-escalates, according to Reuters. President-elect Joe Biden has expressed a desire to re-enter the Obama-era agreement. Tensions have increased since last week’s assassination of Iran’s top nuclear scientist.