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IAEA report: Iran continues enrichment work at Natanz

Iran has completed installing three advanced IR-6 centrifuge cascades at its Natanz fuel enrichment plant (FEP), according to an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report to member states on Wednesday seen by Reuters.

The report also said Iran has informed the agency it plans to install an additional six IR-2m cascades at the FEP in a new operating unit.

The IAEA had no immediate comment.

Last month, the IAEA issued a report in which it said Iran is escalating its uranium enrichment further by preparing to use advanced IR-6 centrifuges at its underground Fordow site that can more easily switch between enrichment levels.

Wednesday’s report comes a day after IAEA chief Rafael Grossi warned that Iran’s nuclear program is growing and “moving ahead very, very fast”.

He also stressed that “good words” from Iran are not enough to satisfy international inspectors and he hopes Tehran is ready to be transparent about its nuclear program.

The comments are in line with ones Grossi made in late July, when he warned that Iran’s nuclear program is “galloping ahead” and his agency has very limited visibility on what is happening.

In June, Iran began removing essentially all the agency’s monitoring equipment, which was installed under the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

Grossi said at the time this could deal a “fatal blow” to chances of reviving the deal following 2018’s pullout by the United States.

  • The latest IAEA report comes as senior Iranian and US officials head to Vienna for talks this week to revive the nuclear deal signed in 2015 after a long pause.

Iran scaled back its compliance with the 2015 deal, in response to former US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement in May of 2018, but has held several rounds of indirect talks with the US on a return to the agreement.

An agreement was nearly reached before the talks stopped in March. Last week, however, EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said he had proposed a new draft text to revive the 2015 deal.

Source: Arutz Sheva