Despite discussions to save the nuclear accord, Iran increases its uranium enrichment capabilities
Iran–Tensions have recently increased in the Middle East due to Iran’s nuclear energy intentions. The UN atomic watchdog said , on Wednesday, that Iran has begun generating enriched uranium with more efficient upgraded centrifuges at its Fordow plant built into a mountain, significantly weakening the 2015 Iran nuclear deal during discussions with the West to save it.
Despite Iran’s insistence that its nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes, there is widespread suspicion that Tehran is working on a nuclear weapons program
The decision looked to contradict indirect discussions between Iran and the US on completely re-entering the tattered accord, which restarted this week following a five-month hiatus triggered by Iran’s hardline President Ebrahim Raisi’s election.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced on the third day of this round of negotiations that Iran has begun the process of enriching uranium to up to 20% purity with one cascade, or cluster, of 166 modern IR-6 machines at Fordow. Those machines are significantly more efficient than the IR-1 from the first generation.
According to a more detailed IAEA assessment :the nuclear watchdog plans to increase inspections at the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant (FFEP), which houses the centrifuges, as a result of Iran’s move, but the details are still being worked out. Iran undervalued the report although ,the IAEA, normally provides such reports only for substantial events such as new breaches of the nuclear deal’s limits.
“The IAEA’s recent report on Iran’s nuclear activity is a routine update in keeping with regular verification in Iran,” Iran’s permanent envoy to UN organizations in Vienna tweeted.
IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi, on the other hand, expressed his concern about the situation: “This raises the stakes. It isn’t a cliché. Iran can do that, however Iran must be willing to accept inspections. It’s essential.” Iran and major powers are attempting to resurrect the 2015 nuclear deal, under which Tehran agreed to curb its nuclear program in return for respite from US, EU, and UN sanctions.
As Iran refuses to meet with US officials, this week’s indirect negotiations between Tehran and Washington have made little discernible headway. Israel had supplied intelligence with the United States and European allies indicating that Iran was taking technical steps to prepare to enrich uranium to 90% purity, the threshold required for a nuclear bomb, however Iran claims that its nuclear program is entirely peaceful.