Iran has deepened a key breach of its 2015 nuclear deal, enriching uranium with a larger number of advanced centrifuge machines in an underground plant as it faces off with the new US administration on salvaging the accord.
Tehran has recently accelerated its breaches of the deal, raising pressure on US President Joe Biden as both sides say they are willing to come back into compliance with the badly eroded agreement if the other side moves first.
Iran began its breaches in 2019 in response to Washington’s withdrawal in 2018 under then-President Donald Trump and the reimposition of US economic sanctions against Tehran that were lifted under the deal.
The accord says Iran can refine uranium only at its main enrichment site — an underground plant at Natanz — with first-generation IR-1 centrifuges. Last year Iran began enriching there with a cascade, or cluster, of much more efficient IR-2m machines and said in December it would install three more.
“Iran has completed the installation of one of these three cascades, containing 174 IR-2m centrifuges, and, on 30 January 2021, Iran began feeding the cascade with UF6,” the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a report obtained by Reuters on Tuesday, referring to uranium hexafluoride feedstock.
Read More: Algemeiner
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