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IAEA confirms Iran starts enriching uranium with third cascade of IR-2m machines at Natanz

Source: Tehran Times | March 9th, 2021
Location: Iran
Industry type: Nuclear Industry

TEHRAN – Iran has started enriching uranium with a third cascade of advanced IR-2m centrifuges at its Natanz nuclear facility, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) tells its members, according to Press TV.

“On 7 March 2021, the Agency verified … that: Iran had begun feeding natural UF6 into the third cascade of 174 IR-2m centrifuges,” the UN nuclear agency announced in a Monday report obtained by Reuters, referring to uranium hexafluoride, the feedstock for centrifuges.

“The fourth cascade of 174 IR-2m centrifuges was installed but had yet to be fed with natural UF6; installation of a fifth cascade of IR-2m centrifuges was ongoing; and installation of a sixth cascade of IR-2m centrifuges had yet to begin,” it stated.

Iran’s representative to the Vienna-based organizations said in February that the country had installed new cascades of advanced centrifuges at two nuclear sites in Natanz and Fordow to increase enrichment capacity.

“Thanks to our diligent nuclear scientists, two cascades of 348 IR2m centrifuges with almost 4 times the capacity of IR1 are now running with UF6 successfully in Natanz,” Kazem Gharibabadi said in a post on his Twitter account.

Back in May 2018, former U.S. president Donald Trump pulled Washington out of the multilateral nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), reached between Iran and major world states in 2015 and adopted the so-called “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran with the declared aim of forcing Tehran to negotiate a new deal.

Iran remained fully compliant with the JCPOA for an entire year but as the remaining European parties failed to fulfill their end of the bargain, Tehran began in May 2019 to scale back its JCPOA commitments under Articles 26 and 36 of the accord covering Tehran’s legal rights.

In one of its latest steps away from the deal, Iran on January 4 announced the beginning of the process to enrich uranium to 20-percent purity at Fordow to reciprocate the American withdrawal and the European failure.

*Original article online at https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/458971/IAEA-confirms-Iran-starts-enriching-uranium-with-third-cascade