Nuclear Iran launches advanced centrifuges, weakened Vienna agreement

Iran launches advanced centrifuges, weakened Vienna agreement

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The 2015 nuclear agreement normally allows it to produce enriched uranium only with first-generation centrifuges.

Will the Iranian nuclear deal of 2015 finally be shattered? Tehran, suffocated by US sanctions, is loosening a little more of its commitments. The Islamic Republic has just launched advanced centrifuges whose production will increase the stock of enriched uranium produced by the country, said the spokesman of the Iranian Organization of Atomic Energy (OIEA), Behrouz Kamalvandi, Saturday, September 7th.

The spokesman detailed the measures of the new phase of Iran’s commitment reduction plan to the international community over its nuclear activities. He insisted that Iran’s commitments on “transparency” of its nuclear activities would be “honored as before”.

This concerns in particular “the surveillance and access” of the inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said Mr. Kamalvandi during a press conference broadcast live by state television.

  • 40 advanced centrifuges

Among measures reducing Iran’s commitments, Kamalvandi announced that the OIEA had started 20 IR-4 and 20 IR-6 type centrifuges, while the nuclear agreement The Iranian authorities of 2015 allow it at this stage to produce enriched uranium only with first-generation centrifuges (IR-1).

The startup of these centrifuges is expected to accelerate the production of enriched uranium by Iran and increase the country’s stocks, which since July exceed the limit set by this agreement (300 kg) concluded between the Islamic Republic and the group 5 + 1 ( China, United States, France, Great Britain, Russia, and Germany).

Iran began in May to reduce commitments it made under the deal in retaliation for the US’s decision a year earlier to denounce the text and re-impose economic sanctions on Tehran.

US Defense Minister Mark Esper said on Saturday he was “not surprised” by the announcement. “They are already violating (the nuclear deal), they have been violating the non-proliferation treaty for years so it’s not a surprise,” he said.

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Commitment reduction plan
Iranian President Hassan Rohani on Wednesday evening launched the third phase of Iran’s commitment reduction plan by ordering the OIEA to blast any limit on nuclear research and development.

Rohani said he did not achieve the desired result in the recent diplomatic attempt by France to try to prevent the nuclear deal from shattering.

  • Violent economic recession

The Vienna agreement has been threatened since the United States unilaterally emerged in May 2018, before restoring economic sanctions against Iran, whose economy, entered in the second half of 2018 in a violent recession, is asphyxiated by the American policy of “maximum pressure”. The new measures are being taken “so that we can witness an expansion in [the field] centrifuges,” and “we know that this is a big step that the Islamic Republic of Iran is taking,” Rohani said.

In retaliation for the US withdrawal from the deal, the Iranian authorities have since May begun to reconsider certain restrictions on their nuclear program (increase in enriched uranium stocks beyond the limit set by the Vienna Agreement, enrichment of this ore to a level prohibited by the text, ie more than 3.67%).

On July 7, they gave sixty days, until Thursday, the remaining parties attached to the agreement (Germany, China, France, the United Kingdom, and Russia) to help them bypass US sanctions, on pain of seeing them free oneself from other obligations.

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