Nuclear watchdog says Iran enriching up to 60% at underground Fordow nuclear facility | CNN


Iran has started production uranium The country has been enriched by up to 60% at its underground Fordo nuclear facility, to bring it closer to weapons-grade material, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director-general Rafael Grossi said on Tuesday.

“Iran began production of highly enriched uranium – UF6 enriched up to 60% – using the existing two cascades of IR-6 centrifuges at the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant (FFEP), in addition to such production at Natanz from April 2021 The IAEA said in a statement.

The statement said Iran has installed a “cascade of advanced IR-6 centrifuges” and plans a “significant expansion of low-enriched uranium production – UF6 enriched to 5% or 20% – at Fordo”, which Near the answer is the -Central City of Qom, through those advanced centrifuges.

This came hours after Iranian state media Press TV reported that Iran had informed the IAEA that it had begun increasing its enrichment of uranium to a level of 60% purity in retaliation for the IAEA’s Board of Governors , in which Iran was asked to cooperate with the investigation. Unexplained traces of uranium found at unknown Iranian sites,

Tehran described the move as “a strong message to the recent anti-Iran resolution passed by the IAEA’s Board of Governors,” Press TV said.

The IAEA statement further said: “Director-General Grossi stated that the agency will notify Iran of its intention to increase the frequency and intensity of its verification activities on the FFEP in accordance with the safeguards agreement.”

Grossi also said, “Iran continues to advance its enrichment activities at the Fuel Enrichment Plant (FEP) in Natanz and is now planning to set up a second production building, capable of housing more than 100 centrifuge cascades.” Is.”

Iran has consistently denied that it intends to build nuclear weapons.

trick though possible shortens further Iran’s so-called “breakout time” to build a nuclear weapon.

It is the latest in a series of steps that go far beyond the parameters of the 2015 nuclear deal – formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – which Iranian uranium enrichment limited 3.67% in exchange for sanctions relief. weapons-grade uranium is considered To be more prosperous than 90%.

In 2018, former US President Donald Trump pulled out of the historic deal and then ran a wave of crushing Sanctions on Iran’s economy. Since then, Tehran has increased uranium enrichment at a pace not seen since its signing.

US President Joe Biden, a staunch opponent of Trump’s so-called “maximum pressure campaign” against Iran, launched talks to revive the deal after taking office. But Biden’s policy has so far failed to revive it, and Iran has increasingly violated its end of the deal.

Following the IAEA report, the E3 grouping – which includes the United Kingdom, France and Germany – issued a statement condemning Iran’s “decision to pursue” its nuclear programme.

“By increasing its production capabilities at Fordow and Natanz, beyond the limits of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and ramping up production of enriched uranium, Iran has taken further significant steps to hollow out the JCPOA,” it said.