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Iran increases enrichment with adaptable machinery, says UN nuclear watchdog – SABC News

Iran has further enhanced uranium enrichment with the use of sophisticated machinery at the Fordow underground plant in an installation that can easily switch between enrichment stages, according to the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Saturday.

The use of so-called modified subheadings means that Iran could switch faster and easier to enrichment to a higher level of purity.

Although Iran needs to inform the IAEA of such a change, if it chooses not to do so, it could escape detection for some time as there is now a delay between Iran’s enrichment and IAEA inspectors’ verification of what is being produced.

In a June 20 report, the IAEA said that months after Iran announced its plans to use the waterfall, Iran had begun feeding UF6 into it for action, a process that precedes enrichment. (UF6 refers to uranium hexafluoride gas that is introduced into a centrifuge to enrich.)

The IAEA confirmed on July 6 that inaction had ended, Saturday’s report said.

“On July 9, 2022, the agency confirmed that Iran had begun feeding UF6 enriched up to 5% U-235 into the waterfall 166 IR-6 centrifuge with modified subheads for the stated purpose of producing UF6 enriched up to 20% U-235, “said there.

Western diplomats have long expressed concern about the equipment that this waterfall, or cluster, centrifuge is equipped with.

The United States withdrew from the agreement in 2018 under Donald Trump, the then president, and reinstated sanctions against Tehran that the agreement had lifted.

A year later, Iran began to retaliate by violating its restrictions.

Iran is already enriching up to 60% elsewhere, well above the 20% it produced before the agreement with the superpower in 2015, which limited its enrichment level to 3.67% but still below about 90% of the weapons category.

This action is the latest step by many to break and go far beyond the restrictions imposed by the 2015 agreement on Iran’s nuclear activities. It comes at a time when talks on reviving the agreement are at a standstill and the Western powers have warned that the time is running out to reach an agreement.

Iran increases enrichment with adaptable machinery, says UN nuclear watchdog – SABC News

Source link Iran increases enrichment with adaptable machinery, says UN nuclear watchdog – SABC News

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