:copyright: AP Photo / VAHID SALEMI
12:03 09.09.2019(updated 13:33 09.09.2019)Get short URL
Earlier, an Iranian Atomic Energy Organisation spokesman said Iran would be decreasing its commitments to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal, in retaliation to the breach of the deal by Washington. Tehran maintains that it could still 'reverse' its action if the other parties to the deal fulfil their promises.
Iran has begun installing advanced centrifuges which would allow it to increase the enrichment levels of its uranium stocks, the International Atomic Energy Agency has announced.
In a statement released Monday, the UN nuclear watchdog confirmed that it had been able to verify on September 7 "that the following centrifuges were either installed or being installed...: 22 IR-4, one IR-5, 30 IR-6 and three IR-6s," with "IR" referring to Iran's centrifuge equipment.
Compared to IR-1, the older generation of Iranian centrifuge equipment, the IR-4 is said to be capable of producing enriched uranium five times as fast, while the IR-6 can produce it ten times as fast.
According to the IAEA, the centrifuges were installed at the Natanz nuclear facility, with "all of the installed centrifuges...prepared for testing with UF6 (uranium hexaflouride), although none of them were being tested with UF6 on 7 and 8 September 2019."
"In addition, in a letter to the [IAEA] dated 8 September, Iran informed the Agency that it would reinstall the piping at two R&D lines to accommodate a cascade of 164 IR-4 centrifuges and a cascade of 164 IR-2m centrifuges," the statement noted.
Later Monday, Cornel Feruta, acting head of the IAEA, called on Iran to respond to the watchdog's questions on the state of the country's nuclear programme, saying that in his recent meetings with Iranian officials, he had "stressed" to them "the need for Iran to respond promptly to Agency questions related to the completeness of Iran's safeguards declarations."
"Time is of the essence," Feruta said.